They Cry in my Dreams

They cry in my dreams, the lost ones:

the boy who has no face,

the old man, slumped by the roadside,

the young girl, beaten, raped;

the homeless ones in doorways,

newspapers round their knees,

and the faces of hopeless fathers,

watching--as their last child dies.

Though the sounds of their words come garbled,

the pain comes--anguished, clear,

and I toss on my bed of nightmare,

both hands pressed to my ears;

or I reach out my arms to comfort--

but they crumble at my touch

like burnt, charred-paper people

who have been touched too much.

Cry on, cry on, dark voices!

till the earth becomes one cry--

and the white moon shatters like crystal,

the stars melt in the sky.

Copyright 2010-2012 Paul Petrie