she said her mother was waiting could I take her there she was waiting and would worry she asked how my mother was and I said you are my mother she looked amused then she leaned over and took my arm she said does mother know where we are I said yes mom she knows she's waiting will you tell her I'll be there she said as soon as I can get to the bus I'll tell her I said she patted my arm and hummed give your mother my love she said
Discovered a few moments ago that my sister, my sole sister, The sister I have admired for more than fifty years, the sister Who rocked my cradle with her toe as she did her homework, The sister who was never especially leery of punching us out When she felt we deserved it which I have to say yes we did, This sister has a name I never ever heard before this morning. Dechi Palmo she is called in the Tibetan Buddhist monastery She graces. Depa for short, she says cheerfully, on the phone. I know where that phone is, the only one in all the monastery. It's hanging on the wall outside the kitchen where she works, When she is not teaching, or praying, or meditating, or every One of the thousand other tasks she does silently and smiling. It means Happiness Glorious Woman, she says, or Happiness Glorious She Who Meditates. I nearly faint with seething joy. Sometimes, not all that often, but more than we maybe admit, Things line up exactly right, all hilarious and wild and bright, And you see a thing just as it really is, deep in its holy bones. You think that's never going to happen again but then it does. You can't command it, you can't make it stay, you cannot do Much of anything except slouch there grinning and mystified, It turns out, but to be occasionally grinning and mystified, ah!
Without your words, my breath cracks, dust on sand; without your words, my limbs break, bones on graves. Oh, my father, me too. without Can even this be stolen? your words No syllables of blessing left? No mouthed morsel of hope? Oh, my father, I alone am the hunted, your words, trapped and slain, me, too the spoils stolen again, me, too, that fair enemy, without, without
Dark as birds, the kind sober young men come quickly when you go down
on the ice, rush to see for themselves whether you rise
broken or whole, forever changed or unfazed by such a fall, the world
or at least the axel it spins on all unspun and you the mistress
of the moment, the ice as apt as any metaphor for death
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).