Burqa

A poem

"Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone."
Edith Cavell
A waterfall of people trickled down the stairs
and she, beneath a burqa that was flinty,
full of sparks, positioned her stroller
at the top.
The front wheels clunked
like stones toward
the station below.
Wordlessly, I unstopped myself
and took the front struts in both hands.
Together, we carried her boy toward
the ground –
all of us were once this small,
our bones this compact and soft.
The rectangle of her eyes squinted a smile,
and, when I looked back, she waved.
Patrick Hicks

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