David Burnham went to the same high school as Richard Moore, another poet published by The HyperTexts, which only goes to show what a small, interconnected globe this Earth is becoming.
Dedicated to a young Bosnian woman who hanged herself after being raped.
O young woman hanging
From that tree with neck
Ungainly tilted, above white blouse.
Legs limp beneath blue skirt,
Feet not on earth, overcoming
Evil the only way you knew how:
By not living with yourself.
Surely those for whom you once
Were their little girl never
Dreamed of those feet useless
When singing lullabies to help
You sleep secure or counting
Toes like little pigs to market.
I want those legs to move again
And to hear your forgotten laughter,
But there is nothing I can do
To help you, wasted womanhood
Hanging from that tree this summer
Morning when there should be joy
Amid deep breaths of clear, good air
To nurture dancing feet.
Needless waste, but you will live on,
Indelibly, for me and thousands of others,
Who first saw you over breakfast
Coffee, bisected by the horizontal crease
Of the morning news.