A Prayer for Europe

The warring language floats in the winter air

At the words of one dictator. People forget

Preparations for Clean Monday to begin the war.

Across the border, children wake up

In the night, to the sound of bombs,

A neighborhood grocery store will turn to ruin,

And old men, together with young women

Will take up their guns, to join the army.

Old mistrust rises poisoning words.

If I could halt the madness with a call

To prayer, a reminder of old kindnesses

We all so easily tend to forget.

*

Today Europe is a woman

Whose body has been sliced by the birthing

Knife, over and over, her cesarean

Wound badly patched birth after birth,

Her womb crisscrossed; flesh hardened

Along ridges of history written in blood.

Protect its life-giving womb, slice her no more.

Consider the early patches of snowdrops

Under the wheels of the tanks.

Would those who fly the bomber planes

Notice the change of seasons in the sky

For the peace it could bring, and fly back home?

Will neighborly kindness revisit memory?

The world lifts its hands in prayer as Europe

Suffers. This is no birth.

Stony Brook, 27 February 2022

3 thoughts on “A Prayer for Europe

  1. THIS! Wow. Just wow. “Today Europe is a woman

    Whose body has been sliced by the birthing

    Knife, over and over, her cesarean

    Wound badly patched birth after birth…”

    I’m trying to squeeze the news I dare to gather down to more a manageable size into daily poems — but your poem, Carmen, left me absolutely dumbfounded. I cannot imagine what this is like for you. Am going to reread Burying the Typewriter .https://elizabethboquet.com/2022/02/26/snake-island-series/

    Liked by 1 person

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