Swans Commentary » swans.com May 22, 2006  



Peace Patch
(for Jeffrey Allen, on the 30th anniversary of your death)


by Gerard Donnelly Smith





(Swans - May 22, 2006)  
When college protesters bought them home
I burnt my draft card,
placed your peace patch in mom's cedar chest,
closed the lid on war, on death.
Now I lift open that wound,
stitch the patch on to a new jacket
in place of the monuments we etch
of granite indifference.

In 1967 there were new woes to weep
which could never be new,
for there was and will always be
an Agamemnon.

That year his first-born left for Okinawa
to fix jet bombers that burnt peasant huts,
a miniature version of Armageddon.

That was the year you bought the patch
and stitched it to a jean jacket
while body counts rose on television
and the righteous screamed: "we should
just nuke the bastards."

That year you went off to Dayton
an artist with dead eyes
to paint your darkest vision,
to deaden death's reality
with acid and marijuana,
to paint a self-portrait
on haunting canvas of purist white:
a red split face on a black field
facing that single window.

With a bloody flag you tried to cover your crime.

Now somewhere in that nothingness,
supine in your self-imposed bliss
with eyes stitched shut,
you must see I've re-sown the patch
and that we must remove the flag
as quickly as possible.


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Internal Resources



About the Author

Gerard Donnelly Smith on Swans (with bio).



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Gerard Donnelly Smith 2006. All rights reserved.


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/gsmith67.html
Published May 22, 2006