Being Afraid Isn’t Enough

a poem by Gary McDowell

How peace begins is the shadow of war, but I’ve
no right to suggest it. Trenches, hunger, a drone
pilot in Henderson, Nevada, 6,000 miles away.
What does it mean this human betrayal? Whose

throat is closed, whose is sliced open, and how do
we tell their story? A man enters the room.
A woman enters the room. In their pockets, sleep.
In their eyes, sleep. In their hearts, moonlight.

No one is there to hear them. Scale this
to two nations. There’s a music the planet makes,
and if you’re still and it’s dark and you’re frightened
you’ll hear it hum. Some say it’s the electro-

magnetic field made audible, but I think it’s
the thrumming of countless widows pacing with worry.