Can We Not

Can We Not

Can We Not 150 150 Kevin Peterson

Can we not just sit,
Can we not just sit and share
Can we not just sit and share our stories

I grow weary of the attacks on my borders and capital
Night raids, open threats veiled and borne on diplomatic lips
IED’s planted along the path most traveled
Intending harm to any and all who approach too close
The slightest touch ,friend or foe, setting the world ablaze

Can we not just sit and share our stories
Share our deep thoughts, the ones that burn in our bellies
The ones that burn hot below cool dark surfaces
Waiting for a delicate breath and space to come to life

I’m tired of the quiet drones hovering everywhere and nowhere
Not seen or heard ,maybe there, maybe not, just overhead, seeking, destroying,
Surgical , preemptive, mechanical strikes of willing coalitions on the unaware
Wanton ,fervent fanning of consuming -incendiary darkness, snuffing hope
Scorched earth policies carried out by the angry jabs of snarky tongues

Can we not look each other in the eye and say the words
The words that spread healing salve on festering wounds
Wounds that seemed so minor and shallow- we left them
Simple cuts and scrapes that now overwhelm us by their volume and infection

I’m exhausted by the delicate dance of mutually destructive forces
The nuclear football controlled by an unstable chess master
Fear of weakness, soft spots in the tower wall, fear of annihilation,
Forbidden words of unilateral disarmament- sitting on an aggressive throne
Fear of initiating the foreign launch sequence without defense

Can we not just sit
Can we not just sit and share the hurt broken places
Can we not share without repercussion?
Without one or both of us reaching for a rock?

Can we not….

Kevin Peterson

Kevin Peterson is a former high school dropout and jail cook who now lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife of over 30 years. He is a skilled poet and graphic illustrator.

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