Armistice Day

"Armistice Day
Armistice Day
That's all I really wanted to say."

- Paul Simon

It's Armisice Day
I would have no arms
Eleven eleven, like the first Armistice Day, 1918,
One one one one, we
Won won won won
Yessir, yessir, we won one, won one
How many did we lose?
On the other hand, every birth is a win, isn't it, so we're all right?
On the other other hand, the planet can't handle all those wins?
I would be done with the back and forth of hands
I would have no hands
I would have no arms
I would live in Europe, Asia, America, south and north, Africa, Australia, Antarctica,
     and all the wide deep blacken blue oceans
I would have no Western front
I would name myself Peace Among the Nations
Finally undisappointable,
Hanging over the beleaguered of nations like a happy gracious fog, I would
Penetrate everywhere
I would weigh you down with uplifting serenity
I would double you four times, Woodrow Wilson World War
All ate of you, consumed by love, would have a thousand arms each reaching and
     embracing every dying soldier every wailing mother every broken-legged horse,
     enfolding them in doesn't-change-a-thing compassion
I would have no arms.

1 comment:

  1. As I said the first time I read your poem, I'm glad you mentioned the horses - so many suffer in war - so many species, so many individuals, the collective whole.