Marjorie Gowdy

It’s Wrong to Feel Lucky

It’s wrong to feel lucky
when a poplar blooms.
            Branches spit out slender pinks below low clouds.

In fields here, we find arrowheads.
Ancient whispers on the ridge. One death begs another.
            Axe, arrow, bullet, bomb. A siege of poisoned bolts.

Up the road, old battlefields sit
surprised, suddenly covered in grey blankets
            of stinging dust. Charming fencerows buried.

Once, old soldiers sold poppies,
tried to warn us. Some rode to save us.
            Yet Zeus swung back and slung his fire.

Capitol’s newly fallen: an ugly man of bare ambition,
youths who rose through thunder, astonished tourists seared in place,
            fresh-eyed children crushed in the vapor of monuments.

Crouched in far mountain woods are we who never left.
Crops tremble in singed southward wind. We wait by the spring box, a cock cries.
            Soon ash-coated sparrows will fall as swords, exacting surrender again.