Our Father Who Drowns the Birds

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Before I get to Colombia, I’ll spend a week in Nicaragua for orientation to MCC.

Our Father Who Drowns the Birds
In memory of Nicaraguans killed by the Contras, 1980-1990.
By Barbara Kingsolver

There is a season when all wars end:
when the rains come.
When the landscape opens its own eyes
and laughs at your talk of dying.
When all the dead trees
open their hands
to the sky
and bleed scarlet flowers
from their fingertips,
and then you remember, before the blood,
red was the color you loved.

There is a season when every ancient anger
settles, conceding
to water the grass.
When nights are split by the bright
electric voices of your ancestors,
and the ones who owned your ancestros,
calling to one another
between earth and sky,
and all of the old grudges
fall, one by one,
on the roof of your house
sounding so much alike
they lull your babies to sleep.

This is the season that renders
all things equal:
the season of the arsonist-Creator.
When sun sets a fire in the clouds
that is indisgtinguishable from morning.
When sunset and fire and morning
are all the same word. When woman and man
are the same word. When justice
is not a word
because it is air, and we breathe it.

Even the animals will remember this season:
those that curse,
and those that dance because
in the rain they are equal.
The timid ones
creep from their secret wet homes
to move with their thicker-skinned brothers,
move from the predators shadow.
Today there are no shadows.
The hunted creatures
are cloaked in rain, invisible
and fearless.

The hunters,
North American birds of prey
foraging too far from their own territory,
each laboring under its one
slow, beating wing:
the hunters grow heavy.
Even the natural laws that propel them
are foreign in these hills
of the other America
when the rains come, finally.
Their raven mouths suffocate
in clouds, drown in wet air.
From your distance
you see the horizon shimmer where they fall,
one by one, in the hills.
A great orange flower of heat
rises quietly from each grave.
This is the season when all wars end.

And after, when the children of your
children ask you about this day,
you will tell them:
On the eighth day God made justice.
On the eighth day God sent the rains
to the other America,
to drown the birds, and give us a fighting chance.
And the little ones will believe you because
in those days children will grow
with their hearts intact.

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