ANOTHER MARCH, JANUARY 2003
Let it come
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.
-- Yehuda Amichai
On Saturday we will travel
the Metro to Union Statio
and walk to the Capitol
and demonstrate. The Maoists
will be selling their newspapers,
the cyclists peddling their flyers,
transvestites flinging purple boas,
their banner reads: Celebrate perversity!
We will celebrate each other Ė
rabbis from Iowa,
hippie girls from Delaware colleges,
a Muslim contingent from Texas,
high school kids with cigarettes.
Our children will be grumpy
and cold. They will complain.
We will all stamp our feet and yell
the slogans of so many years.
We will find the perfect
THE ONLY BUSH
IS MY OWN
To distract our children,
keep them giggling
as the papier mache coffins go by Ė
the angels of death, the skull masks,
photos of bleeding babies Ė
we will point to Uncle Sam on stilts,
a silvery Statue of Liberty.
Someone will take up the chant
again, the drumming will continue
and we will watch
our breath rise into the cold
Washington morning and disappear.
We will not know
where our chanting goes
when the march is over and the Metro,
buses, trains, long skein of cars
returns us to Mt. Pleasant, Parsippany,
Oneonta, Chattanooga. We who believe
believe our chanting reaches
the ear of God. We who do not,
believe the thinning air receives us Ė
our harsh and lovely voices.
I will stand in the cold
and try to warm my only son.
Originally published in 5 AM,
Issue No. 21.
BEN TELLS ME KIDS
CANíT KISS IN
Ms. Prince says Germs, he says.
One time, he says, Josef and I were having fun
and just started kissing each other all over.
Oh no, I panic: teacher conferences, public health,
Child and Family Services.
But then: Are you having a good time?
Ben smiles, perfectly mimicking his teacherís
And I bless the sweet teacher, her love for the boys
as well as the girls, how she knows their restless
their bounce, how they jostle, kiss, count to 989.
I have carried them all in my body, walked with them
to the farmerís market on too little sleep,
read them Madeline and kissed their
Kindergarten is a heaven of bodies, all wild
and wriggling on the new carpet parents paid for
Can they tell us what is coming, these boys,
can they keep on loving their beautiful backsides?
How long will they be doing the booty dance?
A Note from Sarah Browning
was a great pleasure and honor to be one of the first
featured poets in Ethelbertís Muse to Muse program.
We met at Vertigo Books in College Park on a rainy
Saturday afternoon - the last day of National Poetry
Month. And what a fabulous way to celebrate poetry:
reading poems and talking about poetry with one
my favorite poets and a personal hero,
E. Ethelbert Miller.
questions, of course, were thoughtful
and engaging. We talked about craft issues - he asked
about the use of color in my poems, for example - and
about content: wrestling with political and moral
themes, how my sonís voice is heard frequently in my
work, issues of faith, the erotic. The lively audience
joined in the discussion about the public role that
poetry can play, D.C. Poets Against the War, and
my first experience with being an editor, putting
together the groupís anthology. We even talked
about the Muse! I look forward with pleasure to
future programs in the series, when Iíll get to
sit back, listen, and, no doubt, soak up some
- Sarah Browning