AGENT ORANGE, VIET NAM

A Poem by M. Lapin

–because of the website http://www.projectagentorange.com

Earth cannot be cruel
holding everything Eden —
allowing seed and life
to come from its grip
and the spirits, too, deep
from buried sleep.
They wake within
the hull of rice, the shell
of grain, the skin of tomato,
the sweet fruit chom chom,
mang cau, the mighty dragon.
The spirit finds its place of rest
deep in the cavity of the living,
never to die, to be remembered
always, one descendant
to the next, season after
season. Earth cannot be cruel,
but we can be, killing
everything with evil,
trapping the spirit in a soil
dead and poisoned.
Earth holds Eden near
and waits until whatever
this sin might be
and finds a way to forgive.
Then the spirit comes home
in the produce of the land
to find its final resting place
one descendant to another,
a marriage of inner peace,
land to life, life to land.

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