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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

And Every Step I’ll Remember

 

 

 

Peace, be

the stone

in my shoe

I cannot

ignore

and cannot

remove.

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…in a time seemingly hellbent on hate? That’s what Phil Woods and I both explored through poems last week in our responses to Charlottesville. Please check out the poems today in the Colorado Independent. To read them, click news poetry. And please, if you are up for it, write a response. We need more conversations about what’s happening.

 

All the best,

Rosemerry

 

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PEACE

 

And there, on the to do list,

somewhere beneath “post office”

and above “pay the bills” is a single word

 

not yet crossed out. “Peace.”

You’ve written it in ink, as if

to offer it permanence,

 

an urgency that can’t be erased.

Every day, you look at it,

wondering if this is the day

 

that goodwill will come as easily

as changing the burned-out lightbulbs

or taking the garbage out.

 

You almost stop believing

you will ever cross it off.

After a while, it might seem

 

just like any other thing

you write on your list, then ignore—

like clean beneath the piano

 

or organize the garage.

But then the news will shake you,

will render your duties

 

small. And you’ll write it in

at the top of the list

in all caps, underlined in blue,

 

PEACE, not something to do,

but something to serve,

something to practice

 

as you move through the day,

something to inform the way

you fold the sheets, you drive

 

to town, you attend the meeting,

you make the call, you write

the letter, you do what must be done.

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At the Candlelight Vigil

 

 

 

Mommy, she says,

her face still warm in candlelight,

why did you start to cry—

and I hear not just curiosity

but the itchy vest of embarrassment.

 

I don’t tell her

the math of the world

is just too sad,

perhaps I cry more

because for a moment I believe

the words I tell her—

it’s going to be okay.

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One Last Thing

 

 

 

Let us lace our words with light—

the fragrant light we carry in our flesh.

 

Even the darkest words can be said

with light, can be spoken with a seam

 

of radiance, spoken as if the whole world

depends on us finding that inner shine

 

and sharing it.

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All the Way Home

 

 

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

—Helen Keller

 

 

Three days after

I think the world

is coming apart,

in the back seat

of the car

my daughter

is improvised

by a song—

I eavesdrop

as she mumbles

along

to an accidental

tune,

change is

wonderful

change

is wonderful.

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Unable to undo or reverse the destruction,

I focus on the children I’m charged with.

Hey kids, I say, come sit with me.

I cannot hide that I have been weeping.

They have been fighting, all morning,

as children will, calling each other names

such as “stupid” and “jerk.”

They’ve been refusing to share,

asserting how right they are.

It starts here, I say. Peace begins with the way

that we treat our family and friends.

They are embarrassed by my tears.

My daughter sits on my lap, but looks away.

Stop it, Mom, she says. She slouches

and curls her thin back into my belly.

My son says nothing, then belches

to lighten the mood. I am too sincere.

I almost wish to laugh at myself,

to laugh at him, but instead,

I feel the warm weight of new tears

as they gather before they fall.

The boy beside me, their friend,

takes a big breath, then nods.

I know what you mean, he says.

One of them could have the hand

that pulls the trigger, I think.

One of them could feel righteous

enough to drive a truck into a crowd.

One of them might find the words

I cannot find, the ones that could change

someone else’s set mind,

the words that might turn us toward peace.

 

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One Side

 

 

 

the warrior in me

traded in her weapon for seeds

still a warrior

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One morning
we will wake up
and forget to build
that wall we’ve been building,
the one between us
the one we’ve been building
for years, perhaps
out of some sense
of right and boundary,
perhaps out of habit.

One morning
we will wake up
and let our empty hands
hang empty at our sides.
Perhaps they will rise,
as empty things
sometimes do
when blown
by the wind.
Perhaps they simply
will not remember
how to grasp, how to rage.

One morning
we will wake up
and we will have
misplaced all our theories
about why and how
and who did what
to whom, we will have mislaid
all our timelines
of when and plans of what
and we will not scramble
to write the plans and theories anew.

On that morning,
not much else
will have changed.
Whatever is blooming
will still be in bloom.
Whatever is wilting
will wilt. There will be fields
to plow and trains
to load and children
to feed and work to do.
On that morning,
I hope I see you.

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I’m sorry I didn’t let you
watch a movie when we got home tonight.
And I’m sorry I didn’t let you
have a piece of gum before bed.
And I’m sorry it was too late tonight
for a story. I’m sorry.
Not sorry in a guilty way,
but sorry in that I know
how hard it is to want something
and not get it. I know what it’s like
to convince yourself that your happiness
depends on that thing, that whatever thing
that you don’t have.
All those tears. I have cried them, too.
It did not matter that I was loved,
that the bed was warm, that
my belly was full, that the sky
was a lovely shade of peach.
I did not have what I thought
I must have. It does not change
when you’re older. Oh, the whatevers
change, but the longing
is part of being alive.
Tonight I wanted you
to stop crying. I wanted it enough
it nearly made me cry.
But even more than that
I wanted something else
I can’t explain to you.
That greater wanting,
some kind of peace—
could you feel it, too, as it fell on us
like the most gentle rain,
how it fell on your anger,
my helplessness, your wanting,
my wanting—the kind of peace
that touches everything just as it is
and doesn’t change a thing
and changes everything.

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