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Anti-Ode to Betrayal

Side-by-side, we stood --    
          east and west,
          turbans beside crew cuts,
          American English bouncing with Kurdish.
ISIS qailed before this combination.
Helping each other,
we held you in your stateless realm;
you shielded us from terror.
Such strides we made
          apprehending kidnappers and bombers,
          freeing the detained,
          preventing further slaughter,
only to end the marriage.
We left you, a confused spouse,
packed our bags
and slammed the door on the way out.

Now mayhem ensues.
Havrin Khakaf hauled from her vehicle,
mauled and slain.
A prison break sets terror loose among you
as mortar shells shatter the earth,
your homes, schools and hospitals.
A new refuge crisis blooms
in the battle-burdened Levant.
We fear jihadists will appear a world away
on our soil
delivering their violence to our homes, schools and hospitals.
Bigotry marks innocent Muslims among us.

Our name is dirt in your mouths;
your blood boils as it soaks the ground.

Betsy Packard: I am a potter, poet and porcelain artist. At 67 I have
returned to Graduate School, this time at the University of Kentucky.
Most of my life I've written poetry; I've belonged to writers' groups,
attended workshops and seminars, but it was time to get serious. My
workshop professor for Fall Semester encouraged me to return to
submitting my work for publication.

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Previously published in Eleventh Transmission:
"Un/Mending" by Angele Ellis.

Published March 26, 2020

Special Project: 45 Poems of Protest

Anti-Ode to Betrayal

by Betsy Packard
(Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
Eleventh Transmission: "Anti-Ode to Betrayal" by Betsy Packard
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