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poetry Pieta

New Mexico poet Beate Sigriddaughter laments the absurdities of war, killing in the cause of “righteous dreams.”

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Pieta

 

By Beate Sigriddaughter

I.

A woman at work solicits paperbacks

for our soldiers, especially action/suspense.

 

I feel for her, wanting to help, yet

here I sit trapped in my white marble grief

for our sons that are always so broken.

 

Often it feels we lose our men

long before they enlist in their dreams

of glory that we haven't healed                                                                

in more than ten thousand years.

 

II.

In Papua New Guinea women make a pact

to slay their male babies, as there seems

to be no other way to stop a brutal war

of already far too many generations.

 

At this point men in the west are crying "murder."

Would you rather wait till they all grow up

and kill each other properly then?

 

III.

In Israel they are willing to imprison

high school kids who do not want to

kill and do not want to die.

 

IV.

You say it is too difficult to simply withdraw

and let go of righteous dreams.

You say I don't understand the staggering

complexities.

 

Do you believe that it is easier to simply die?

 

V.

Come home, my love, and live.

 

I want you in the fields beside me,

not huddling in far-away trenches. I want you

to climb with me the narrow path toward

intelligence with its dangerous cliffs

and its breathtaking vistas.                                             

 

I don't want you on my lap,

broken for any reason.

 

Come home, my son, my brother,

my father, my husband.

Come home, my love, and live.

 

Named poet laureate of Silver City, New Mexico (Land of Enchantment) in 2017, Beate Sigriddaughter grew up in Nürnberg, Germany, where she began her trajectory of enchantment a five-minute walk from the castle. Alternate playgrounds were World War II bomb ruins. She has also lived in Ireland, Lesotho, and Canada. Her work has received several Pushcart Prize nominations and a handful of poetry awards. Her keen interest in women's status in the world led her to create the blog Writing In A Woman's Voice where she publishes other women's writing. http://sigriddaughter.com/

“Pieta” was first published by Poets Against War Canada