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Saturday, March 05, 2022


by Cecil Morris

They think these invaders cannot kill us all, will not,
if we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, in ranks
like sunflowers or stalks of corn, benign and unarmed.
They think these invaders will see we are good people.

We know better and would tell them but they don’t listen,
or, if they do listen, they do not comprehend
the languages of destruction, forget the beige
indifference of words and how they camouflage
a red intent. They forget, on both sides, the quiet way
surprise waits in them and their sad myopia.
Still we do try to tell them true. We send the breeze
of our ghost wings over them, the distant rumble
of our ghost hooves spooked across plain and steppe, the sound
of our falling, a whole forest of calamity
that echos around them and they don’t hear. We try.
We try to tell them: no boundaries in the hearts,
the minds of men, no lines limit devastation.

If they don’t want to end up like us, they must run.

Cecil Morris lives in Roseville, California, where he taught high school English for 37 years. In his retirement, he has turned his attention to writing what he once taught students to understand and (maybe) enjoy. He has poems appearing in Cobalt Review, English Journal, Evening Street Review, Hiram Review, Hole in the Head Review, Midwest Quarterly, Poem, Talking River Review, and other literary magazines. He likes ice cream too much and cruciferous vegetables too little for his own good.