CONFITEOR: A COUNTRY SONG
Evening. Red sky. Standing at the door
I sense a shadow presence here:
the one who loved this land before.
These harmless hills bear scars of war.
Someone stood here, full of fear.
This is not a metaphor.
Above me, turkey vultures soar;
below the garden, seven deer.
Someone loved this land before,
loved it as I do, maybe more.
She did not simply disappear
and she is not a metaphor:
This was some woman’s home before
pale soldiers came to clear
a land that someone loved before.
What to do with facts like this? Ignore
them? Hope they disappear?
Someone loved this land before.
None of this is metaphor.
Patricia Monaghan is a Founding Fellow of Black Earth Institute and the author of four books of poetry, most recently Homefront (WordTech Press), a thematic collection on the impact of war on families. She has won a Pushcart Prize and the Paul Gruchow Nature Writing Award. This poem was previously published in the chapbook Grace of Ancient Land (Voices of the American Land Series).