Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq: A Poem

And, finally today, because yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the start of the unjust Iraq war, a poem I wrote when the Gulf War got underway: I'm tired of these wars . . . .

Wars and Rumors of War
(A Gulf War Poem)

Wars and rumors of war,
And one lone heron on the bayou shore:

Stitching the shallows,
Here a silent sentinel,
There a shadow sliding over still dark water

To stand again nearer, then past,
The humpbacked bridge.

At each circle
My dogs lunge in mock fury,
Strain their leashes to the teasing game.

All along this walk,
I think, try not to think,
Of our latest little war.
I shut mind room
To what's better left outside.

But back again it comes:
Live oaks sporting jaunty yellow ribbons,
Car antennas flying tiny flags,
And—most startling but not unexpected—
Police motorcycles swathed in red, white, blue,
As if the flag extends the power of the driver
Out, behind, to all the world and space
One ever could imagine.

This heron comes as welcome antidote
To my shadowboxing with futility,
Keeping apocalypse at bay.

It, this one thing perfect and complete, calls me
To consider the healing promise of the everyday,
The never comprehended fullness of the flight,
The shore, clouds floating, sinking
Into water's mirror.

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