Still the Lilacs Bloom June 2004

Did we really think

that war

can be quick and painless

or smart bombs
bloodless and wise?

(Wiser than those
who sent them?)

That soldiers and
mercenaries caught up in hate
would be loving

or compassion would outweigh

self righteousness
and greed?

Do you ever cry on a rainy day

mourning as a
mother whose dead child
lay in her arms

killed by a rocket

(ours, theirs, or
someone else’s)

or whose lover was
murdered or murdered in the
line of “duty”

fighting for a vengeful God,

(Muslim, Christian
or Jewish)

a homeland, a
pocket full of gold

(a years salary for 1 months labor)

or barrels of oil?

When will we
realize that the violence
of war

is not confined to the battleground

but like smoke rising from a burning forest

diffuses and orbits the earth?

What we put out
comes back to us.

We breathe it and feel it

in tears or in rage.

We transform it or
we fuel it.

And we pass it on.

Still, the lilacs