Pat Kabra

To Say; Blue Sneakers: Pat Kabra

To Say

that there is nothing to say.
Or, it is that I say nothing

while a dim, silent softness
crushes a dawn morning,

cools the bitter darkness
of coffee in my ebony mug.

Nothing to say seems to
make a difference. Or, it is

that the seeming is so
different from the reality

at the door – crumbs tossed
to a winged creature seeking

sustenance and shelter
from bone-chilling cold.

A vacancy of thought,
a misery of words,

nothing to say in the face
of another day of storms,

murders, wars, lotteries
that wend their way along

a meandering path lined
with hardened pebbles

like the silent, smooth
stone lying in my pocket.



Blue Sneakers

All that is left
of shy smiles,
endless giggles
little girl hugs
is a pair of blue
sneakers –
heel to heel
bent slightly
empty of socks
two restless feet.

Foot gear proudly
worn to dance, to
run, to jump, to tap
to jiggle in rhythm
with dreams of
making a difference
in this world – of
being someone
who mattered.

Two blue sneakers
wiped clean of blood
of gun powder, of
shrapnel, of tears
and fears and calls
to 911 that fell in
an abyss so dark that
help never came.

No thin, slim fingers
will tie or untie those
shoe laces or slide
those sneakers on or
off, or dump them
at the front door upon
coming home, or in
the laundry, or in the
closet, or on the porch.

Those sneakers will
never climb stairs
dance in the street
dangle from a tree
except to hang from
barren limbs voided
by a weapon.

blasted to shreds of fabric
rubber, blood, flesh, bones
joined in a pile on a floor
stained in crimson
the last poems of Uvalde.

Pat Kozlik Kabra is a writer and professor. She studied Philosophy and Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University and has a Phd from UCLA in Middle Eastern History and Arabic Language. She writes poetry and essays, as well as teaching graduate seminars at the George Washington University on Media, Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy and working as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State.