Women walk on their knees
and utter cries strange and shrill as birds.
They throw themselves on the graves
of their children and eat the freshly-dug dirt,
until the other mothers pull them away, weeping too;
for what mother has not buried some small hope or dream
or blessing, and then been forced to walk away?
Night gathers her skirts above the tiny earthen mounds
and circles them on her own calloused knees.