When younger, mom had taken us
To see a site – “to see you must –
It celebrates four thousand miles
Where is not war but gentle smiles".
Peace Gardens were quite beautiful
With flowers, streams, and fountains full,
But now they’re scruffy not the thing
Where children laugh and choirs sing.
Few people spoke as we walked round
As if in each suspicion found;
Quite different now from when as child
I’d found a place where people smiled.
Quite strange that gnarled piece of trash
“Ground Zero’s mess – September’s past”
Now graced one side of border now
So we’d all see – “it’s wartime now”.
Like – what’s that got to do with us
It’s others who with you made fuss –
Your foolish antics over oil
Your peace and harmony did spoil.
And then I saw what that trash meant:
“Our border’s closed, the peace is rent;
You think like us or take a hike,
We you protect – you’d better like.”
The longest border on the earth
Without defense since war gave birth
To USA, (’cept two more times)
Allergic culture’s in our minds.
It was not flowers of peace out there
But weeds through concrete grasping air;
Neglect – since war’s important now
If peace again – it’s made somehow.
As we came from Peace Chapel nice
With words inscribed of sage advice,
I saw some people – Mennonites –
Whose children’s greeting were quite nice.
These lovers of a peaceful way
To settle scores and yet hold sway
Within this troubled world of ours
Looked wistful – like they missed the flowers.
She wore a veil upon her head
“To keep off evil one”, friend said –
’Tis needed here, now that I’ll grant –
Midst spirit’s weeds of wartime rant.