Ghazal in Offering

Put away your sadness. It is a mantle of work.

                                    --Anne Carson

What madness is it that sets the earth to burn?
Witness the trees, her frail fingers, crackle, burn.

The sadness of the mother watching her children learn
She cannot protect them against sting or burn.

Think of boys, girls in a warring country, the madness
Of watching friends fall to the AK's feral burn.

In such a country, what laughter to salve the heart?
What gladness to work against famine's burn?

And how, in this land of plenty, can gladness
So elude the soul that fear, hatred catch fire, burn?

My words are nothing, a heresy of sadness,
Pale offering to a distant god as man's world burns.


Addy Robinson McCulloch is a graduate of Duke University and a freelance writer and editor. Her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as Best of the Net (twice). In 2014, she was a finalist for Fairy Tale Review's inaugural poetry contest. Her work appears or is forthcoming in publications such as Quarterday Review; Red Sky, an anthology of ; Minerva
Rising; Gingerbread House; Redheaded Stepchild; What Matters, an anthology of poetry from Jacar Press
; and Get Out of My Crotch: 21 Writers Respond to America's War on Women's Rights and Reproductive Health.