Elizabeth Barger





           Ichabod is not a funny name*


A glamor of violence

is thrown over all our days.

Even the blind in Gaza

wonder how

freedom will rise

out of all this pain.


Hate is a terrible teacher.

Generations survived from Warsaw

remember the lesson

too well,

and have become its professors.

What must we do

when brothers and sisters

kill each other

without apology.

"He started it,"

they protest,

pointing rockets at each other.


Sarah, will your heart be

forever hard

to keep Hagar's children

outcast always?

Death is unforgiving

and leaves only room for sorrow.

Silence will not save us,

the moat of distance is a lie.


* After hearing of a terrible defeat and death in battle, the wife of one of the slain generals named her newborn son Ichabod. It means eternal sorrow and shame.



(Originally posted May 3, 2009)


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