When the amber alert woke us at 3:43

We thought it was nuclear war and wished we’d bought more water and planned for this

but instead it was just the life of some kid we didn’t know, not our own

And we went back to bed with the image of the make and model, a face behind the glass

And tried to find our place again in the book of dreams.

It is hard to care for all the orphans and strays in the world, but you can care for just one

Or you can care from a distance behind locked doors, safe inside heated rooms.

It is the way of the world to get between the seams and remind us we are always a part of it

Though it is not a world we often love, it demands we put down our books for it, we take the call.

Categories: poetry, writing


14 replies

  1. Ah – trying to find our place again in the book of dreams! Never quite can … And only in dreams can we adequately care for all the orphans and strays that somehow step into our awareness.
    Thanks – your poem less invasive than an amber alert – but gives a good nudge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So easy to get jaded with the never-ending onslaught of distressing news. This is a good reminder: no, this isn’t nuclear war, it isn’t civilian executions in Bucha, but someone’s child. a neighbor or a friend, has been abducted, and there is a distraught mom sitting at home hoping that someone, anyone, can help. I think our capacity to care is too often numbed out of existence. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah numb is the right word there Jeff, that and desensitized. Thank you for the note! Hope you’re still grooving on PiL. I had that album in my head all day yesterday and went back to gaze at the photo of JL some more too. Those leering eyes…


  3. I felt the same thing hearing that sound this morning. A few years ago, I managed to disable those alerts on my phone. The only one they don’t let you disable is the presidential alert. My wife’s phone still had the Amber turned on, but who can tell where that sound is coming from when you are dead asleep. I heard they found the little one, so we can at least feel good about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes the presidential alert. I can’t imagine that would be good news. Though some presidents would likely abuse that alert as a bullhorn right?! Happy they found the little one, yeah and thought some of my PNW friends might relate to that wake-up call. I keep my phone on DND when I sleep so it didn’t go off on mine.


  4. I was going to say it’s been a while since you turned the everydaystuff into poetry, and it has, but then you also just blew up the everydaystuff into something much bigger, right there, something much heavier. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This brings back the time a friend and I were talking about her kids and how she wanted them to have a lot more freedom. She knew the chances of something really terrible happening to them were, statistically, very small, but then we both had the same thought at the same time: no parent wants their child to be a statistic, and every statistic still represents a real child.
    This is an excellent reminder that being a parent means living with a constant, even if it’s in the background, alert.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This one’s really powerful. This will never happen to me since I have notifications silenced while I (try to) sleep. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have to do the DND. Unless you’re worried about your kids needing help in the middle of the night in which case there is no DND sign to hang or button to press ha! Hey it’s great to see you posting again FOG. I started up in 2009 also, so here we are croaking through our boxes like two animated frogs, two windbag blogging geezers.


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