The Poetry of War
If you’ve been reading my work for any appreciable amount of time, you know I’m an attorney. What’s more, I’m a litigator, and for the past several weeks, I’ve been in trial, which is to say, I’ve been at war. This, you might say, is a tone-deaf phrasing in light of modern realities. And sure, you might be right, but this is how I’ve always described litigation, and though less bloody, the analogy holds.
In the War Room—the conference room where we strategize the coming days of trial—the television cycles through scenes of the European conflict. On breaks, we sit on the couch and watch those images. Burning houses. Collapsed apartment buildings. A war-time president with sunken eyes and a set jaw promising hell to the devils. The reel cuts to a Russian madman promising nuclear annihilation if he doesn’t get his way. Sitting at a desk in the front of an ornate, cavernous room, a gulf of thirty feet separates him from his closest advisor. Chest puffed out, fists clenched, he is a modern case study in male overcompensation. Talk, talk, talk about the size of your missiles while under-armed people expose your smallness.
Among those images was the woman I wrote about last week, the one who answered the call to prayer even as the air-raid sirens blared. I haven’t been able to shake her, this icon of true strength in a war zone. And so, sitting in my own War Room—albeit a much less violent one—I pick up my pen and scribble a poem for this woman I will never meet.
The Woman at The Wall of St. Michael’s
The holy mother, blue scarfed
raises arms at the wall of saints.
Bells—the hour of prayer,
preparation, for the serpent comes
What woman timeless bought,
brought into this garden wails
for children warring against
their nature as brothers?
The lie—eat this fruit and
you will become God—
has no more hold in her heart.
In what left time has not been
eaten by Cain, she returns
to her first form:
Even in a garden begging
New World come.
There is nothing that feels quite so much like praying as writing poetry. And so, I offer this poem to the woman at the wall. May the archangel protect your church, your faith, and your country. May your children take up arms and prayers to beat back the devil. May your courage and faith inspire those without either. May you receive an eventual peace on earth, and if not, an eternal reward.
Thank you for reading along. If you enjoy the work I’m doing here, you know what to do.