Lions

It is as if lions grew inside of me,
and I am not afraid.
-- a mother of the disappeared, Argentina

When my daughter met at night
with those who speak of unions,
I stopped talking to my neighbors.
Six workers were found murdered,
their tongues, their hands cut from them.
The priest said a mass.
I pretended not to hear of it --
I begged her to stay home with me,
not to speak the names of the dead.
But when the soldiers took her,
and would not give me even
the name of a prison,
the place of a grave,
I heard a roaring in my head
that swelled into my tongue, my fingers.
Now I hold up her picture in the plaza.
I call out her name,
while men with mirrors on their eyes
watch me.
I see my face reflected in their dark glass.
I do not look away.

Naomi Thiers was a Washington, D.C.-area poet when this article appeared. Her work has been published in literary magazines and in the 1981 Sri Chinmoy Anthology of Spiritual Poetry.

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