HomePoetryThe Mark of War

Here’s a little drawing I finally finished of the Carolina Spring Beauties that were blooming by the river in March.  I drew this with Micron pens, of which I dreamt about a year or so ago, and have had a lot of detail-obssessed fun since.

Below is a poem I wrote which also feature Spring Beauties, though in a more somber tone, as I wrote it in response to the news of the horrific Afghanistan murders that occurred this past March.  In the wake of that tragedy I’ve thought often about how trauma imprints on our DNA.  Somewhere I read (and now I can’t remember where–arrgh!) that these imprints can carry over for two generations, and I wonder about how we all might carry these burdens in our bodies, and how we might heal the wounds.

I also have been thinking about how modern media processes terrible events for us.  I believe we need to craft our own responses to these sorts of events for our cultural health.  Art is a healing process that helps us  incorporate and process hard truths that we might not otherwise face.

      Mark of War - Stephanie Thomas Berry

Mark of War

Sixteen dead in the night, mothers and their children murdered
by a man rotten with war, our man, their children
and we all stumble around this.
I stumble to the river and sit with the spring beauties
there are so any of them now
this march so warm
they are a carpet of delight
little green children at play among the debris of winter
they wear their pink-striped bonnets and
bask in the marshy wet breath of the river.
I lay down among them,
crushing their fragile arms.
The river swirls in my ears and thunder drums on the mountaintop.
The little spring beauties don’t know about war, or murdered children,
and the river keeps all her secrets.
Even the stags have dropped the burden of their antlers.
I have brought the news to this place
and the wrens chide me.
Everywhere we go, we bear this mark of war.


The Mark of War — 2 Comments

  1. Beautiful! I loved reading the poem first and then hearing you read it.

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