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It is true the springtime flowers
have blossomed forth, forsythia first,
daffodils, followed by the Bradford Pear.
Then the Dogwood. The azaleas—
various kinds, colors—slowly stagger
their release of blossom
over several weeks. And now lilies
of the valley—perfect, lacy hanging
bells— grow on the north side of the house.

It is true that tiny violets covered
much of the yard before our John Deere
tractor moved them away and that two tender-
hearted children rescued a sick, baby bird.
They put it in a cage, unaware
that it might give them lice. Or worse yet,
West Nile Virus. But this concerns more
than just the springtime. Much more than
the flowers. More even than the baby bird,

‘though I picture him still. This is about
the blood that flows through soldiers’ human
veins, the senseless violence they endure,
and the prayer I have continued to pray.

first published in The Peace Tree