Our lullaby
automatic weapon fire

our teachers
bodies in the streets

our parents
whispered stories of stars

who climbed so high
they fell upward into the sky.

We mounted cliffs to find them
climbed every tree;

the bullets flew through the air
and we dropped

like rocks rolling
across the fat plains.

We left for higher mountains:
north, where white powder

fell from the sky—
a kind of magic, cold and wet.

One brother made a blanket of it,
fell asleep and never awoke,

our parents the stars
looking down in silence

unable to speak
the language.

Copyright © 2016 by Holly Karapetkova. This poem appeared in Towline (Cloudbank Books, 2016). Used with permission of the author.