I could write against war, but the mobile missile launchers
speak with brute elegance, who can overcome this continuous
thunder? The trees long ago splintered like plastic, burnt,
uprooted, have a silence about them that asks, “Why
did you let us grow so sweetly so long, only for this?”
I could write against war, but I know the trees’ decimation
indicts us alike, aggressor and not, who did not value enough
the speckled bark, the soft serrated leaves, who put
electrodes and spot-welded angle iron, who held
brand names and hedge funds and gloss, above peace.
I could write against war, save only a place in a wood,
where a rippling creek did not remind me of throats gurgling,
where I might lay out my logic in wave after wave of reason
between even margins right and left, that no child might detect
the wobbling and shifting of my own sullied hand.
Harold Ackerman lives in NE Pennsylvania, where in retirement from teaching, he writes poetry and short fiction and makes photographic art. He has a poem currently at Mason Street and an image forthcoming at Poetry Leaves. Previously published work is listed on his gallery page at briarcreekphotos.com