Bystander’s Lament

by Katy Miller

I am a witness to the wars,
a witness to the witnesses of wars,
a second cousin twice removed –
it does not mean I am not moved.

A mother moves from porch to kitchen, then
to attic. She can move in place like static.
Children like to ask, why,
then why again. I remember when my son,

so young, questioned every noun.
What’s that? Interrogating me, the witness.
What’s this? Bulldozer, dirt, fire engine, sky.
Noun equates to answer, followed by

another question Why? Why? Why truck?
Why sky? Because it’s blue. An answer
doesn’t mean it’s true. The question
is the thing that moves. And all the damned and dead –

they move me, too.


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