By Pamela Cochran

I would never have believed
that I’d awake one day
in a lonely cell, having stripped
myself of everything precious
that I’d always taken for granted
by shaking a fist at my creator
for ending the suffering of my beloved
in a way other than I’d imagined while
on my knees;
awaiting transport
to a place no one belongs, except
to the state, whose
main concern is the bottom line; bodies
for which they receive top dollar,
but never humans, never
souls, never mothers whose lives have been nothing
more than a series of tragic events,
and are now doomed to
walk this journey
through the wilderness with
no prophet to lead, no
cloud by day or
fire by night to prevent
the aimless wander
of the hopelessly exhausted, desperate
to be anywhere but here;
or destined—
and placed, precisely
on this map,
at this point—
a testament
that it doesn’t have to end
here, that life’s treasure
chest of grace, hope,
and redemption
can be uncovered if we

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