Soul of his people
He opens the soul of his people to me
reliving his time on the sultry roof tops
of his cherished Jerusalem.
I smell lamb and spices, the sweat of hard labor
the tinkling roll of children
stealing giggles behind garden gates.
His cluttered workshop in this foreign country
is the landscape of home
where he teaches me to rest as
we become desert meeting sky
lying on concrete breaking into melodic memories.
Music makes love to us as I watch him work.
I’ve become keeper of his soul,
his treasured secrets.
His humming fuses us into one movement, refracted
voices of his dark, moist, fecund past
where he becomes the words he weaves
composing life with images that run through
us like the wild war horses he saw
crossing hot sand at dusk.
Gliding back and forth
between harsh brilliant days of the Sinai Desert
he stretches the casualties of war, the cries
of innocence lost in the hearts of children
along my horizon.
I’ve been given his voice, his awful truths
and asked to give life to this requiem.
Sharon Lopez Mooney, "Soul of his people", From California Quarterly Poetry Review, vol. 47, no. 1, March 2021, ed. etal: Terry Ehret, Maura Harvey, Alice Pero, Margaret Saine, Maja Trochimczyk, Sunland, California