War Song

photo credit: Caridad Svich

WAR SONG by Caridad Svich

(September 2, 2010)

This is how we sing

In the cool of the mountains

Drained by the sun

Spent from work

We rise

This is how we bleed

In the thick of the valleys

stained by the moon

Bent from work

We rise

Desert felled

In an ocean’s swell

We carry our histories on our backs

The weight of memory in our skins

We do not surrender

We rise

And we pray

Another day

Escapes our breath

Another day

Revives our deaths

So little they are

When compared to many

I want to see the blessed chill

Of anguished smiles

When I walk again

And walk some more

Along the long white hallway

til heaven’s door

Again is he?

Again is she?

Oh bitter earth

What crime is this

when desert sons

And desert winds

Cannot promise

ripe deliverance?

The sorrow sung

In ancient glow

Arrives tonight

In peace, although

One never knows

Who answers still

The siren’s call

Of war below

Always son

Always daughter

Roaming in fever’s den

Surrounded by lions’ cries

And slaughtered infants

At mother’s sides

We call it peace

A talk, a meet,

A wish to quell

The shame of defeat

But could we mark

A better song

Upon this earth

If guards are let

To bury mirth

In bitter cups

Of blissful shame?

Think now

Oh sons

Think now

Oh daughters

This cry

Held long

For all our martyrs.