Poetry Archive

Save Her

Have you ever looked 
so closely at a child’s face 
that you could see God?
	Victoria Chang, Obit

what if I told you 
that I am wandering 
in the wasteland 
of a war-torn country, 
desperate to defend
my young daughter?
or what if I told you
that my daughter is 
the war-torn country,
and this is America,
this is America and 
we are in a hospital 
room for those who 
want to be protected
from themselves?
and what if in order to 
keep the war-torn country
on the map I have to
convince you 
it needs saving?

maybe where we are,
the name of the country,
which war, 
whose daughter,
      --doesn’t matter.  
listen to the long gone
and the newly dead,
their elegy 
is short and sweet
and pleads with us
in every language:

       save her 
       save her 	

is that a clock ticking
in the corner
or is it a bomb?
you should know
that a mother determined 
to keep her child alive
can turn anything 
into a weapon:
a clock,
a daisy,
a prayer,

what if I told you 
that my suffering child
is the Messiah?  
that unless she 

in this world, unless she makes it,


will never be safe      

from me?

Image by Artur Aldyrkhanov

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Joan Kwon Glass, author of “How to Make Pancakes For a Dead Boy” (Harbor Editions, 2022,) was a finalist for the 2021 Subnivean Award, a finalist for the 2021 Lumiere Review Writing Contest & serves as Poet Laureate (2021-2025) for the city of Milford, CT. She is a biracial Korean American who holds a B.A. & M.A.T. from Smith College, is Poetry Co-Editor for West Trestle Review & Poetry Reader for Rogue Agent. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite, the Subnivean, trampset, Rust & Moth, Rattle, Mom Egg, SWWIM, Honey Literary, Lumiere Review, Lantern Review, Literary Mama, Barnstorm & others. Since 2018, Joan has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. She tweets @joanpglass & you may read her previously published work at www.joankwonglass.com.