The house is growing


When I drive up

Our driveway and sit

In my car, this night


Out around me, and

I can see

The house and

My husband who

Is standing near

The window,

Pulling the curtain


Or how the shadow

Of him is moving,

Moving across the room,

Where he is shutting off


Before coming to the front

Door and waiting for me,

Waiting for me to come


And tell him yes,

Because he wants to go


Go away to Somalia or


The Horn of Africa,

To help he says, or

How I said no.

And I am standing

On this front step,

Facing him,

And I do not have to turn

Around to know,

Know that this is what night

Looks like after it has fallen,

Or that I will not change

My mind,


Because he has already gone

To war,

Because, in Kabul,

A woman was stoned to death,

How the men dragged her body

Down to the bed of a river and

Lit it on fire,

While people watched and

Because the Horn of Africa

Feels like more,

More war,

More violence,

More terror,

More people gunned down,

Armed militia and tanks and

Men and women and children


And we are here, moving

Through this house, this

Conversation again, how

We are here,

Standing in this hallway


How this hallway is the

Artery of our house, how

It runs down the center

Of the house and us and

I am saying more,

How it feels like

More of a chance

He will go over there and

Die this time,

Or how we hear our son


Moving in the other room,

In this darkness, and I turn

To my husband,

Saying your turn,

How it is his turn

This time,

And this is the part

Where my husband

Will go,

Lay next to him,

Our son,


Thinks about words

He cannot say, or

How my husband

Is whispering,

Whispering to him

Whispering the words

Love and

You and

Our son,

Who is five years old,

Reaches his hand out

To touch his father’s


Saying yes,

And the word,

His word yes,

Is a note, this

Unexpected note,

A whole note,

That hangs in the air,

And I am on the other

Side of a wall,

Lying in our bed,

Imagining a horn,

Metal and gold

Colored and brass

With a bell on one


That flowers,


Or how there are

Buttons, buttons

But no sound,

No noise,

No fingers,

No wrist or


Or how the body

Of the horn curves

Like my body or

The body of country

And how the Horn of Africa

Is a group of countries and

How the land flares out,

There, shaped like a horn,

And how I know that

A country can be like


A beautiful instrument

I do not know how to play.

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1 Response to Horn

  1. Excellent, really emotive in so many ways. It resonates deep within the soul. Thanks for sharing

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