Will Marwitz, St. Joseph
This child is not yours, this child is mine
Whether born in Kiev, Tokyo, New York or in Palestine –
This child is not yours to gnash and devour
As fodder of decades, centuries or clicks by the hour –
Your all-consuming bombs and masquerading mines –
Your funnels of despair and desperations and vulgar time
Steal what I have painfully
Joyfully offered to this platter of life, this raucous celebration –
So, who, I ask, has sought this slaughter of my child –
My son, my daughter?
Who has filled the beaches, the schools, cafes, sidewalks,
With severed limbs, weeping eyes, of those I have hugged at breakfast bleak sunrise?
My children – Buried within skyless nights –
They are not part of your twisted metal – your twisted rites –
My child must be everyone’s child,
Not a pawn or portion of some demented god-game,
Or a peace plan offered in its name –
Out! Out! Damned Spot!
Do not memorialize your bloody sword, nor your dented shield –
Nor lances that would not yield –
Serving only as museum artifacts of slaughter –
Of my son – of my daughter –
Do not let my children sleep in their shoes.