NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Friday December 9th 2022

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ADVENT CANDLE: PEACE

A POEM BY THOMAS R. SMITH

Peace to the goose with the broken wing, eliciting

    the maddening kindness of human beings, maddening

    because inconsistently applied.

Peace to the snapping turtle burrowed in the riverbottom

    mud, frozen and sealed as if for Judgment Day.

Peace to the queen bee in her hive, kept warm

    at the center of a ball made of thousands of her

    subjects, not all of whom will survive the winter.

Peace to the bear in her leafy den, giving birth

    in her sleep, as it seems that poets sometimes do,

    astonished to awaken to the bright, hungry eyes

    of the poem.

Peace to the trees keeping their minds on heaven,

    while holding fast the under-sky of roots and mycelia.

Peace to the clouds, shielding the sun from the

    glaring follies of humans below.

Peace to all the fevered world with its rising

    temperature and tides.

Peace to the famished who have eaten the poisoned

    bread of lies.

Peace to the strangers to themselves, unable to abide

    their own company.

Peace to those from whom everything has been stripped,

    who shiver in fear of the coming winter,

    having never recovered from the last.

Peace to those who live in dread of the picture

    the puzzle pieces of dusk are assembling.

Peace to those whom anger and shame keep awake

    through the long night, fighting the reckoning

    that collapses the day.

Peace to the one who lights a single candle, hoping its heat

    is enough to keep him alive while help is on its way.

Peace to those who wait patiently and impatiently

    for a new song to be born in the silence.

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