POETRY: Waging Peace, by Sarah Klassen

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who
announces peace.
(Isaiah 52:7)

Not something separate. Not
a convenient screen, a wall hastily fabricated
to keep a conflict’s blaze contained.
Or the self safe.

Nor something hammered out at tables.
And never sentimental, say a moonlit evening,
an incandescent sky. The Pacific Ocean
on a breathless day. You might as well

wage peace as war. You’d have to stand
exposed at the crossroads of unguarded anger,
a presence, not an absence,
not gritting your teeth. Forcing your clenched hands

open. Your heart’s hard core
and everything the stubborn mind conceals
revealed. Disarmed
you may become disarming,

the terror in your unmasked face
radiant, your unshod, wounded feet beautiful
beyond words.

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