Frogs of War
So now the frogs of war are croaking
from their pond of fire
and all the haters of peace, emboldened
they have only two notes:
The Slaughter at Ishaqui
March, 2006: On the Third Anniversary
of the US Occupation of Iraq
Somebody thought these babies were
Wrap the bodies with blankets
smooth back their hair,
and the cheeks that were shining yesterday,
wipe the dirt and blood from them.
Cradle each small foot naked in
before you tuck it in.
Remember that when a helicopter
the sound alone is enough to pierce a hole
in a child's head.
Three years after Shock and
the only certain water in Iraq are tears.
LaMorticella co-hosts Talking Earth, a poetry
program on KBOO radio. She has lived rurally outside
Portland since moving to Oregon from San Francisco,
where she and her husband were founding members
of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, in the late
60s. In 1997 her second collection of poems, Rain
on Waterless Mountain, was a finalist for the
Oregon Book Award. In 2000 she was the recipient
of the first Oregon Literary Fellowship for Women
Writers, and in 2005 she was awarded the Stewart
Holbrook Award for outstanding contribution to
Oregon Literary Life. She has edited or co-edited
three anthologies of Portland poetry. She has
given over 200 poetry readings, and her work has
appeared in many anthologies, including From Here
we Speak, the Oregon State Teachers Association
Literary Anthology; Pacific Northwestern Spiritual
Poetry Anthology; and the new anthology of Oregon
poetry, Deer Drink the Moon.