The look on the face of my daughter when the sirens go off
And we run to the safe room, collecting babies and toys
And the phone, a bottle of milk that rolled under the couch
And we count as if it is a game…one, two, three, four…
And we wait, ten long stretching moments, for the shrapnel to fall,
The babies nod back to sleep,
And I look at their faces and think of future wars.
And they will beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks,
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
Nor will they train for war anymore.*
I am not a farmer,
Plowshares, spears or pruning hooks
These I am not unfamiliar with,
But I can see my hand pruning the flowers in my garden,
It is a peaceful scene.
If I will not train for war,
Maybe my children will go to war no more,
And the sweet faces of my grandchildren
Will not have to become the faces of soldiers.
*Bible verse from Isaiah 2:4: “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (International Bible).
Ariela Zucker was born in Jerusalem in 1949. She started writing nonfiction, mostly memoir, and discovered the great joy of writing poetry only recently.