Linda Knighton — The Dance of Death

The Dance of Death

by Linde Knighton

Was it Yeats who called Ireland a terrible beauty?
The place where revenge wound from Protestant to Catholic
And back and back again, like intricate knotwork.

The wreakage at ground zero is like abscract art,
Sets for a modern dance that hurts, then grieves,
Then digs to find our common humanity inside.

The walls of loved ones are images,
Names from monuments turned to faces,
One proud, one handsome, one shy--
All beautiful these days.
Everyone's loved ones are precious.

Young people are going to enter the long,
Winding reel of revenge. Vietnam is still too
Raw in my memory. The broken men and women are not yet
All Mended. The wall in the other Washington is too long by far.
We have monuments enough.

Copyright 2001