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Ceremony for the Living: Kabul 2010 by Adrienne Amundsen

Ceremony for the Living: Kabul 2010 by Adrienne Amundsen

Poetry, Vol. 7.2, June 2013

The trees are filled with rustling, brown pods
that rattle like wind chimes in the Kabul spring.
The trees are mostly dead
and the camp in the center of the city
is filled with refugees
making homes in the mud.
It is no wonder the boys would turn
to guns and brotherhood.
What a world, where huts and houses
explode every day
and people become migrating herds.
The trees are filled with rustling, brown pods
and you don’t hear birdsong,
but trucks and cars roar and rumble
like new animals,
armored plates of tin and iron,
black smoke the breath
in a fetid new world.
The rattle of pods in the trees
is an undertone to this new harmonic.
Beneath it all is the movement of people,
their altar the dying trees,
the trees filled with rustling, brown pods
making rhythm for their
ceremony of survival.

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