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for Susan

light a 1,000 candles for peace
spread them down the winding back staircase
carefully count each step
don’t forget to question the last four
to the basement
fill with candlelight the anteroom
of discarded boxes, lumber, carpets
place one candle beneath the pole
with the multi-color chalk peace sign
then carefully make a bread crumb trail of candles
through the great room
of walkers, wheelchairs and crutches
make sure the path leads
to the small back room
through the doorway
to the right
set a single candle
in the storeroom
to its right
which houses the chair
on which I now recline
a Seder table free man
pouring out a coffeehouse blend
impromptu banjo
electric organ folk
anti-material poetry
the cry of the didjeridu
open mic initial draft of this
death of the first-born
light a candle of peace
float one down the arteries of east L.A.
for every vial of CIA-contra crack cocaine
for the cry of every childlost mother
carefully count each one
of our carpet-bombed youth
I looked through the Reagan-Bush bombsight
and only pulled the lever
in the election booth in protest
light a candle of peace
float it down the arteries of Managua
for every CIA-contra torture protocol
the mother’s cry
carefully count each carpet-bombed youth
Reagan-Bush bombsight
I pulled the lever
light a candle of peace
for me
because I said:
Don’t recount the death du jour,
it has no effect on me

– Ian Wilder

This was written for Susan at a PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse during the Reagan-Bush administration during Passover time.

2 Responses

  1. […] candlelight (for Susan) […]

  2. Good one, Ian

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