The Day Glenn Miller’s Plane Disappeared by Trish Saunders

Here’s the secret about war.
It’s such a bore–
government shacks,
rats and roaches,
harsh shampoo
if you can find it,
staticky radio
tuned to cooking tips, and
worst of all, the community clothesline
with mountains of shirts and sheets
ready to pin up beside a stranger’s underwear.

Worse even than that: sad-sack shirts and pants
abandoned on the line,
gimpy limbs
that shimmy and shake in rough winds
or hang in the rain, till the
chaplain’s wife unpins them,
to send back home with a letter.

But once, his band played the island
and oh dear God,
we danced to String of Pearls.

#Immigration: A Well-Lit Ocean by Trish Saunders

Row along, children, nothing to see here,
it’s not an oar that floats in the seaweed
but a branch, slender as hope;
that stifled cry was a gull—

how much time have I spent reassuring you?
probably not enough;

a beached boy lying face down is not a boy,
but a large doll,
eyes closed
in sleep;

waves turn his face
from the pitiless sun,
but keep his blue shorts on,
one last kindness.
Stars wince.

Alan_Kurdi_lifeless_body

 

 

Trish Saunders divides her time between Seattle and Honolulu. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Gnarled Oak, Busted Dharma, Blast Furnace Press, Off the Coast, Poets and Poetry, and Here/There Poetry.

 

Photograph of Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in Greece by Ggia. 

Photograph of the body of drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi by Nilufer Demir. 

Darkening, Lightening, Darkening by Trish Saunders

I like the way you sing apocalyptic hymns at sunset.

Maybe I’ll learn that habit. I’ll chant mantras at dusk
the way a Persian soldier drank poison
to ensure his body
couldn’t
be killed by it.

I’ll keep this shoebox, with its hidden pistol
under the bed where you can touch it
for reassurance like a fifth of vodka;
open it when you need it most,

or run into the woods on wakening and
pretend nothing’s wrong.
That never fails–like your hand in my hair
sets it on fire, every time.

There’s a chance too, the day will close quietly,
and the moon will rise over a barn.

 

 

Trish Saunders divides her time between Seattle and Honolulu. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Gnarled Oak, Busted Dharma, Blast Furnace Press, Off the Coast, Poets and Poetry, and Here/There Poetry.