Borderlines

    German, Heil Hitler
    Someone in my family long ago loved this man.
    Someone in my family, in my lifetime, hated this man,
    told me, "Never say you are German."
    Denied my German ancestry through gritted teeth
    and red-faced anger, swore because my father
    was not German, I was not.
    This uncle, my mother's brother,
    their parents directly from Germany.
    He disowned them, tried to own me.

    My Swiss grandmother on my father's side
    lived by the German border, taught me
    eins, zwei, drei, vier, I recited
    through childhood proud
    we kept white chickens fenced
    in grandma's back yard.

      we carry our dead

      never meant to exit
      without saying goodbye,
      trails of tears
      war at the end
      of a gun
      ends life,
      never say goodbye
      completion impossible
      in this life of war we live,
      wars others start
      our own wars
      gun right wars
      wars we want to stop
      but they will not
      despite peaceniks
      circles around Green Lake
      Raging Grannies
      wars continue until the end,
      children hungry in the streets
      the soldier
      builds his armor
      the slave
      builds his armor
      the heart in war
      builds its wall,
      we cannot hide
      from our demise
      war is homeless,
      bullets litter
      love's lost trail,
      love destroyed
      before the bloom
      slavery's wall
      implanted,
      freedom's root
      followed endless,
      true spirit
      walks without a trail,
      we will forge a trail
      we will will walls down
      Do No War,
      our love hardens
      we die sad
      to carry this on
      so very sad