ludovisi (2)

More Troops Sent to the Middle East Amid Fears of Unrest

in Middle East/U.S. by

sixty percent of English words stem
from Latin         & like the Romans     America
is having trouble now with pax [peace]
which as an object [pacem] resembles
patchwork         stitched
like the green & yellow fields
seen from a plane         while bellum [war]
slips from the mouth
                like beauty bellus a um
as in    bellissima es    you are so very lovely
like a belly full of comfort
& bells clang out their hearts
                or is it their tongues
tolling war or peace     all iron ferrum
ferocious   fierce    feral
as in ploughshares from ferrum
also known as gladius
                        & this year our gladiolas
raised spiky petals so cheerfully
on the south lawn
you see    don’t you    how words
lead always back
to sharpness     back to blood
& weapons
                        but arma   armorum
sound so much like   amor
the syllables of friendship   amo   amas    amat
[you remember?]         & arms
across the chest protect
the heart    too is an instrument
of war     as in courage
                        bellum bellum         oh beautiful
war    creaks open
& I know this is not war    not
quite     not yet       only unrest
unfolding         our bountiful troops
or copiae   the Romans called them
as in cornucopia   such wild
abundance of the young   fresh
from their grandmother’s quilts
so ready    with their hearts
& arms & full bellies.

 

________

Jeri Theriault’s poetry collections include Radost, My Red and the award-winning In the Museum of Surrender. Her poems and reviews have appeared in journals such as The American Journal of Poetry, The Rumpus and the Texas Review. She lives in South Portland, Maine

________

U.S. military to maintain expanded Mideast presence, for now at least, following Iran strikes
[Washington Post]

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