Mary Harwell Sayler

IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT
On Becoming U.S. Property

I know you’re scared, and so am I. Everything
has changed from imagining
what life will be tomorrow –
surely not this low-down sorrow
nor deep regret – as though we’re dodging
shrapnel. I bet
we’ll look back years from now and laugh at
how we knew so little about shielding our great
nation – half-torn by war, yet
also halved by peace –
but let’s not cease
to have one heart
and home, even if part
of us remains as government
issue in this interval when lent
lives must soon be spent
or go on loan.

From the chapbook: “Winning the Wars”
All rights reserved; used with poet’s permission