Geilta

It is not a wonder that a woman
flies upon the air and eats men with claws
or a man grows feathers upon his flesh

and runs so lightly upon the grass that
his feet do not disturb the dew. Wonder
is that more of us do not do the same.

Suibhne knew the madness of war, and Mis
the wildness that descends when your loved one
lies broken, torn asunder before your eyes.

How many atrocities must you live
before the one that breaks you? How many
children stolen and huddled into camps

the creak of the ropes and boughs where bodies
sway gently in the summer wind. Chains
and fences patterning every field, built

by gleeful hands. Atrocity is wrought
with more than swords. Hands weave it, hearts and minds.
It is the same cloth, spun on the same loom

as the clothes we wear, the aqueduct, roads
and carefully tended irrigation.
A bargain, a promise each of us make —

or not. We choose our blood and terror — raw
and free with the animals, naked and
prophesying. Or that silent kindness

of restraint that dresses the naked and
turns the eyes from savagery committed
in all our names, blood in hidden channels

running from the prisons, below the streets.
No wonder that some folk flee to the green.
It is a wonder that more of us stay.

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