Love Should Play Fortissimo, by Janet Buck.
Wal-Mart sells its last cloth flag.
I stand in line incredulous.
Part of me wishes to be a seamstress
weaving squares: revenging red,
striking white, dreaming blue.
I'd stitch and stitch,
make my tears those fifty stars.
Armies set and borders closed.
We're drumming fists on body bags.

Another section of the fruit
is drying in the pulp of fear.
Distinctions blur, begin to bleed.
Bombs and guns will strike
a victim's acreage,
underscore all human loss.
Erasure won't be mere retort.
In Pakistan, children linger in the streets.
Families who can't afford
a ticket on a crowded bus
cling to posts of pencil tents,
praying to their chosen gods.
All the sap of innocence
is covered by the hungry ant.

Art is bile rising
from the loins of horror
with orgies of a hurt reply.
Our leaders say this terror
needs a root canal.
Love should play fortissimo,
but bows are weeping cherry trees.
Bitter couplets rule the rain.
CNN reports the muscles warming up.
Numbers of the missing climb
as if this Hell is hatching eggs.

Janet Buck, Ph.D. is the author of four collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in CrossConnect, Zang Spur Review, Pif Magazine, Slow Trains, The Dakota House Journal, The Melic Review, Drunk Duck, Stirring, The Rose & Thorn, Avatar Review, pith, Perihelion, In Motion, Offcourse, and hundreds of journals world-wide. In the year 2000, Janet was one of ten U.S. poets to be featured at the "One Heart, One World" Exhibit at the United Nations Exhibit Hall in New York City. Her poem "Acrylic Thighs" was translated into five languages and paired with original artwork. The tour traveled to France, Australia, Vietnam, Brazil, and Japan. In 2001-2002, Buck's poetry is scheduled to appear in PoetryBay, The Montserrat Review, Runes, The Pedestal Magazine, Concrete Wolf, The Carriage House Review, Swagazine, PoetryRepairShop, Slow Trains, Verse Libre Quarterly, Wicked Alice, Facets, Southern Ocean Review, Artemis, The American Muse, and The Pittsburgh Quarterly. Recent awards include The H.G. Wells Award for Literary Excellence, First Place in Kimera's Poetry Contest 2001, Editor's Choice Award for Sol Magazine, and the 2001 Kota Press Anthology Prize. In 2001, Janet's poem "The Teapoy" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Pedestal Magazine.

For links to more of her work, see:

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