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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 homeland

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

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