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Thursday, March 02, 2017


by Pamela Wynn

Seed Corn Must Not Be Ground: A mother protecting her children, lithograph by Käthe Kollwitz, 1942. Image source: Spartacus Educational

Haunting the halls of the museum
paintings protest a war the young know little of.

My nephew, eighteen, reports for duty today.
Army recruiters assured him, his vision is 20-20.

My sister pours cereal as if today were like any other.

The youngest spills milk. She scolds the child
harshly, as if spilling milk were the end of the world.

Once I stood atop Masada. There
Israeli soldiers swear allegiance.

There ancestors killed themselves and each other.
They would not suffer at the hands of another.

In nearby Be’er Sheva, sirens pierce lives of children
—bomb shelters minutes away.

In neighboring Palestine children have no time at all.

We are marching toward the end of the world.
Barely a pause to bury broken young bodies in the ground.

Who can forgive us? We know what we do.

Pamela Wynn is author of Diamonds on the Back of a Snake (Laurel Poetry Collective, 2004) and co-editor of the anthology of poems Body of Evidence (Laurel Poetry Collective, 2012). She has published widely in journals and anthologies such as The Religious Imagination of American Women (Mary Farrell Bednarowski, Indiana University Press, 1999), Arts: The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, Bryant Literary Review, Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, Water~Stone Literary Journal, Blue Collar Review, Christian Century, and Sojourners Magazine. She has received support for her work from the Dayton Hudson, Jerome and General Mills Foundations, Minnesota State Arts Board, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, New York Mills Arts & Cultural Center, and Walker Art Center.