Peace

by Lakshmi

And maybe peace is not
A bilateral talk in an air-conditioned room
With high security to defend the privileged
It is the perpetual sorrow and spirit of warring men
And women, their numbers dwindling like a waning crescent
As they march unified by hope and in some, misguided trust
In the malicious intents of uncaring leaders

And maybe peace is not
Caught in the empty words of showmen
And their furrowed brows, declaring empowerment and little else
It is the penetrating scream of repeated denial
That goes unheeded in a bleak windowless room
For women are such flighty creatures of emotion
One can never know their thoughts, their feelings, their objections

And maybe peace is not
The declaration of a free and independent nation
Safe and just for its multifarious inhabitants
It is the brutal murder of three Muslims
And justice, unseeing, does not call it an act of terror
Terrorism is only so when the victims are white
Terrorism has a race, a colour, a religion now

And maybe peace is not
The written document with a presidential signature
Proclaiming childhood as holy
But the mesh of scars and lies crisscrossed on
A girl’s body, her reckoning of time gauged
By the number of men who cross the cursed threshold
Her singsong voice a tremulous mess

And maybe peace is not
The confident assertion that we do not see race
That we are all equal and upliftment is redundant
It is a perplexed child, skin the colour of glowing umber,
Watching television and looking for the girls
Who look and talk like her, but no one does
Everyone is too white, and she too ugly

And maybe peace is not
In the surrender of international protectors
Who watch in silence the brutal violation of human rights
It is the burning wrath of Israel in a game of terror
The relentless bombs inflaming hearts and bodies
The debris of a desecrated schoolroom
And the innocent blood of Palestinian children

And maybe peace is not
The snobbery of the elite as they speak
Their elegant words that disgrace all but their own
It is the shame and disgust in the hearts of the betrayed
As the nation and its people turn their backs
On families on the brink of starvation and sickness
And allow their decaying bodies to haunt the streets

Peace is not the answer to an immortal riddle
That blossoms pure unto a philosopher’s heart
It is in the mellow ephemeral sunrise like a second’s respite
Chasing the horror of the pitch-black enduring night
We hang our heads in defeat but we pray for those
We love and ourselves, time turns but we
Do not wish to live, we only wish to die
In Peace.

3 Comments to “Peace”

  1. Provocative . . .

  2. An amazing write; very well crafted and thought through. 🙂

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