Poem-Prayer for Peace: “First Tulips”

As we mark the fourth anniversary of the destruction and loss of lives in Iraq and the drain on the economy at home in the United States, I pray for peace. I wrote First Tulips on March 19, 2003 upon the Announcement of War.

I recall sitting in a small cafe when someone walked in and told us all the war had begun…as a town crier would. I immediately recalled the tulips on my dining room table, breathed in, and wrote this poem. First Tulips is a peace poem…a prayer for the missing pieces…and still we hope.


First tulips of Spring, and—
Hope, with soft colorful petals.

I reach for double-slung hip holsters.
Fastest draw in the West.
And my hands come up with fistfuls of tulip petals,
Every color: yellow streaked red and purple ruffled white.

Yes, Hope.
I’ll gun you down with Hope.
Inject you with Hope.
Overwhelm you with the Hope
of irregular and smooth dew-wet,
spear-shaped petals.

Shielded by outward-leaning leaves.
A perfect aqueduct for army ants
scurrying over paths below–
all leading to Rome.

Which, after all, wasn’t built in a day.

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