THE WHITMAN ISSUE
When, in the sunlit pasture with horses feeding,
dandelions release their gossamer wings of seed,
trees blossom heavenward, boughs sigh, and bees
thrum over Queen Anne’s Lace. While day lilies
bend into your embrace and ever-returning perfumed
lilacs bloom, you, Walt Whitman, endlessly mourn
the perennial spring, like the warbling thrush
with his solitary, bleeding throated song of death.
As if seasons could somehow heal.
O return to nurse the groaning young,
their dreadful wounds. Tend the terrible needs
of both sides. The sightless. Amputees.
Barbaric war. Children caught in crossfire,
in the strangling grip of strutting liars,
unrepentant rich men. Our captain, gone.
The awful red we cannot forget.
Bonnie Naradzay received an MA in English from Harvard University and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, she has studied with Elizabeth Arnold at the University of Maryland, and Rick Barot, the Jenny McKean Moore poet-in-residence, at The George Washington University. She has given readings at the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon Series, St. Mary's College of Maryland, the Nora School series, and at the DC Public Library in Takoma Park. She was in the Peace Corps in Southern India over 30 years ago and taught English and Nutrition, and now works at the US Department of Labor enhancing employment and training policy for people with disabilities.