Make Love, Not War

Donna Isaac


Everything was a hand grenade
to my brothers, who liked to play
war though we knew as children
of the sixties the horrors of My Lai,
napalm, one-armed vets, but a pinecone
or an artichoke is not made of metal
and lacks a ring or fuse
that ignites, explodes, and fragments.
Once, I tried to prepare artichokes
but was afraid of the spiny leaves,
the thistle, the choke, but when
the heart is bared, the soft core
bathed in oil, it's an aphrodisiac,
not an implement of destruction,
melting as Cynara did in the arms
of Zeus who, jilted, flung her away
into the earth to emerge all spiny
and green, enclosing deep delight.


Donna Isaac is a poet and teaching artist who helps organize community readings in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Published work includes a poetry book called Footfalls (Pocahontas Press), a paean to her formative years growing up in the Appalachians; two chapbooks, Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press) and Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks); and work in journals (e.g., Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Perfume River, The Saint Paul Almanac, and others).