Jennifer Arin

The Origin of Peace

Peace comes to us
not from the ravages
of war, but from
a conquering tongue—
the Normans’ French
pes usurping the English
sibb, kindred to our
siblings. Five brothers
once upon a time shared
a blanket fit for them
all, and for the winter
ahead. Yet needless
or maybe heedless tension
crept in, this one’s foot sticking
out, that one’s toes poking
daftly into the cold, close-
knit kin in the end 
unentwining. No peace 
without appeasement, no 
pax without a pact, no story 
without conflict unless 
we heed a poem from that 
once-conquered country, let 
its copiousness cover us 
like a blanket: Stay ... 
till the Tempest cease; 
And the loud winds 
are lulled into a peace.


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