Aquamarine Lace

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The bus rattled through the streets
Destruction everywhere,
We aren’t there yet,
Are we?

Halt. My heart sinks.
Expectations lie shattered
Like the broken glass crunching under my feet.
This is Mostar?

The buildings are crumbling,
Unkept and crying.
A boy begs us for money
I harden, we can’t help him.
I feel rage.
I feel regret.
Why did we come here?

Walking through the street
I feel my safety is compromised
And it makes me bitter.
I keep my head low,
I don’t speak.

Then I see it:
The only reason we journeyed here,
The old bridge.
I learn war broke out here
Just before I was born.
The evidence is everywhere,
Bullet holes and broken dreams
Litter the alley ways.

Right in the middle,
Flows a river.
It is the most perfect blue I have ever seen.
Aquamarine.
The kind of blue that never looks cold. Never dangerous.
I can feel it’s power from where I stand.

The piles of rubble where homes used to be
Dot the banks of that glorious
Strand of aquamarine lace.
I understand now.
They cling to it, just as I am drawn to it.

Hope.

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