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by Karen English
[A tribute to the sweet rose of America who gave her life trying to stop an Israeli bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home.]

Can we say Rachel gone?
Can we say Rachel lost?
Can we say her leaving didn't awaken something in our hearts
That pulses with new life?
Can we say her deeds haven't made us measure the depth and breadth of our own?

There are small, pale blossoms budding on the trees out our windows
A new spring warmth on our faces
The comforting chirp of crickets in our nights
Yes, we are in this world, still
And Rachel has quietly, royally departed
But she is not over
Not done
Not cut short
Her brave soul
Her jubilant spirit
Her Herculean embrace of justice
Her taller devotion
Touches us beyond words

And that moment of her leaving
Didn't it seem a tiny pebble amid forever expanding ripples,
A floodlight on brutal truth,
A last breath igniting something lying wait in our souls,
A seed splitting, sending forth its delicate shoot to wind its way into our conscience
And grow?
Rachel is not spent
She is alive in the courage we imagine in ourselves
Hope in ourselves
In all the hesitations we sweep behind us
When we determine to push forward
For what is good and true and just.

2003-03-23 Sun 09:22ct