Two Poems by Jennifer Lagier


Hard Work

Domination and destruction require only a fist.
It’s hard work, our president complains,
the 1700+ Americans and hundreds of thousands
of Iraqi women and children, annihilated without our consent,
war imposed in our name.

The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq
has this to say:

“Hard work is seeing your son’s murder on CNN
one Sunday evening while you’re enjoying the last supper
you’ll ever truly enjoy again.”

“Hard work is burying your child 46 days before
his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other
three children as they lower the body
of their big brother into the ground.”

To me, hard work is speaking out,
nourishing hope in a country
taken over by corrupt thugs
who feed us political spin.

Hard work is putting your shoulder to the wheel,
day after day, as you become the vociferous cog
doing everything possible
to stop the propaganda, halt the machine.

Retro Perspective

At sixteen, revolution ripped your world,
tear gas and rioting campuses,
wooden batons upon bleeding heads.
You married a boy from down the street
to escape the daily war,
fights between mom and dad.

In Vietnam, he drank, screwed
pathetic child whores, spoke the language of hate.
Monthly, his taped messages arrived;
piano wire nooses in every sentence,
slowly choked love to death.

After the divorce,
you found defective disciples
beneath dirty sheets,
allowed yourself
to be suckered by smiles
that barely masked
more damaged goods.

Each stray helped
drive another nail.
A willing victim,
you crucified yourself
upon their anonymous bodies,
again and again.

Jennifer Lagier