Iyansa, austere gates of divine mystery which

you so aptly guard are now flung open

accepting so many from the hospitals,

nursing homes, streets, and transit.


The lines between the city of the living and

the city of the dead now blurred,

open for quick crossings without the rituals, or

ceremonies of leave taking and long goodbyes.


Once you were content to be the keeper of secrets

wearing a rose colored headwrap,

quietly attending to the new returnees.

Your legion of invisible ones always willing to aid the living.


Now the city where I live has so many dead,

you have taken up residence in parking lots

with truckloads of former husbands, wives,

grandmothers, fathers, sons, and daughters.


In this America your power is unquantifiable as

we count lives lost and transfigured forever.

You now are stronger than you ever intended to be.

Your tears flow unceasing.


Fight to keep as many as you can alive.

Iyansa, goddess whose gifts can both save

us and give others a quick merciful end.

We dream of a different time yet unborn.


Purple hued tempests fly all around the earth

where only a hint of your power is mirrored.

Iyansa, fierce owner of the ancestral realm

bless the day you can close your gates.