Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 11:23:31 AM EST
While You Slept
I travelled to Persia, to Alexandria, and to the granite shores of home
I wept with an old love and buried a child while you slept
The earth was red with Wyoming clay, into it salt mothers tears
And the husband like stone and him with the whiskey for courage
For me the clay and a year of dirt and solitude
A year with God and the grave and planting trees in the wilderness.
A year with wolves and bears and coyotes and rattlesnakes.
A year with moose and elk and skunks and prairie dogs.
A year of mice woodchucks, rabbits and slugs.
Seed packets, empty whiskey bottles, and plans of medieval gardens.
And not a human soul. Not a living soul. Not a whisper or a word.
Just the occasional roar of a distant tractor.
While you slept the war in Iraq was held in a peace fire.
For eight hours there was not a bomb or a death.
For eight hours there was not a crime committed.
And the plowshares made of all the armaments beaten, even they were still;
While the workers rested in fragrant fields, while you slept.
July 5, 15:02 GMT
(Illustration: Vincent Van Gogh: "Rest From Work" (After Millet) 1889-1890)