Damascus I Look to the Sky


There were some days when the bombs were silent, never for long, usually just a few minutes, occasionally an hour or so, suddenly the quiet would grab my attention, I would take a moment, listen with my breath held, cock my head slightly to one side and close my eyes, familiar sounds from around my house, the coo of a pair of devoted pigeons, a sparrow tapping its beak on the rim of a satellite dish, I look to the sky and wish I could suspend time, it never lasts, day after day, how long has it been, over a year, the dull thud of shells falling outside the city, far enough to try and ignore but close enough to remind, unable to see out from my house my hearing becomes attentive and attuned to the sounds, I feel an explosion in the city, it’s a car bomb I can tell now, the earth vibrates under my feet, the rockets fly, from Qasyun I think, they go south, the noise is loud but not close, the rockets from the west heading east are closer, much louder, the glass in the windows rattles, one after the other, I can’t describe the noise, it’s a frightening bang, another and another, I look to the sky, I hear the whoosh as the shell cuts through the air above my head, I half expect to see it, from launch to target its less than ten seconds, I count, from the bang that spits it out to the crash as it hits its target, do they ever fall short I often consider, then nothing, its quiet again, for now, I look again to the sky, just a pair of devoted pigeons.