his hand rests on my arm to still the sobs and i shrug it off. i want to feel the pain, i tell him.

there are chip crumbs on his shirt and it’s his turn to look hurt. we’ve married this moment to the Boy with the Striped Pajamas, a movie about a jewish boy in a concentration camp. it’s all too awful, this history that happened, and watching it happen to a child makes me cry in a violent way.

if only hitler had responded to pain with a soft heart. instead, he became indifferent.

the bush is tall outside our window, and all i see is sky and branch and there’s a city of tears just beyond, a world full of children full of emptiness, and how to help my sons see this? to help them respond to life with all of its barbed wire and gas chambers in a way that doesn’t ruin them? to peel away the bush and the blinders and open up their arms?

first, by opening up mine to my husband. by letting him comfort me. by refusing to shrug off, by daring to admit i cannot change the world, by daring to be needy.

perhaps this, then, why God allows suffering? because pain is the most honest kind of prayer…

(shared with one stop poetry)