A girl stands on the roof
feeding pigeons. Swabs of bread
litter the cement. The bird's bubbling song
brings comfort -- like the light, lyrical verse
of a nursery rhyme
Downstairs, her white-veiled mother
is cooking stew. Embalmed in the scent
of garlic, lemon and mint, she feels
they are still in a safe section
of the city. Wind riles the curtains
where trees mirage their presence
in shadow. She remembers a hillside
terraced in stone with high grass
and olive branches looming on each ledge;
the air soaked in light and sea.
An ancient place where she walked
lost in a labyrinthine of time
and thought, an incentive
that would give her daughter a name
meaning beloved garden..
Crowds chant loudly in the distance.
She drops her spoon and leaves
to retrieve her child -- wondering
if they will stay safe,
taste the evening meal, and fall asleep
on bed linens taken
clean from their own closet.