a dream of peace

a clever card
replete with flags and guns and mothers
invited everyone to the war

Ernie sent his best regrets
he’d put on a few pounds
since his uniform last left the closet
and the buttons kept popping off
like acorns before a hard frost

Carlos said he had a previous engagement
to perform the tango on the avenida
a rose clenched between his teeth
it was a dance that he preferred
to last season’s waltz of death

Peter wasn’t bright enough
to discern the present danger
he had scoured the countryside
and found only pigs and cattle
nuzzling the cracked earth

as for me, I could not bring myself
to hate the enemy like he deserved
he looked too much like you and I
he said salaam  I said shalom
we embraced like brothers
and lay down our arms

everyone went home
to prune the orchards
which were bursting with new fruits
vowing to share them with his neighbors
and water them thoroughly
when the dry season came

the grievances remained
but they were settled peacefully
the generals had the tents dismantled
for lack of guests
and to hide their disappointment
they planted lillies in their place

(originally published in worldpeacepoetry)





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