Issue Twelve - March 2008

All We

By Anita Leigh Holladay

Hands converge
towards top
of clock on kitchen wall. Beneath,
table full of dips, smoked salmon,
three kinds of chocolate,
only partially eroded 
by appetite of dancing crowd. Bottles, 
full
and nearly empty, crowd tile counter ––
wine, Martinelli’s sparkling cider, 
champagne awaits the toasts.

Time to exit,
stand cold out under clouds
that undercast Orion, winter’s bow-
man,
and red Mars. From near and away
reports, bangs, bursts,
then three-note minor harmony,
train whistle wails 
improbably
from recent quiet of this trackless 
island.

Open wooden door
again, lift heavy hand-forged latch.
Music seeps, then surges out 
as inner glass opens onto motion,
voices join with John and company
     all we are saying
voices from a time no less urgent
than our own new year
     is give peace
flung towards us from a day
back the other side of the bullets
     a chance
hands swirl and lift
     all we are saying 
free feet stamp polished boards
     is give peace
up stairs to look down on the whirl
     a chance
keep rising up
to see across the island, mountains, 
continent
     all we are saying 
imaginary line of year
sweeps like moon-shadow
east to west
     is give peace
in different tongues
     a chance
different motions
     all we are saying
same enemies of peace in power
     is give peace
though the words are different
the war is the same
     a chance.

     All we are saying
are we willing
to share?
     is give peace
take peace
where you can
     a chance
again, again, we chant.

     All we are saying
not all of us
     is give peace
but maybe enough
     a chance.

©2008 Anita Leigh Holladay

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