Clay and Blood

If they come back they tell
about little children
of the weight of feathers
crawling like snakes
with flat bellies – the envy of many
of those who have bread.

For a bowl of rice
some pick up land mines
risking burials
or prosthetic limbs
for a lifetime of limping.

Everything is being sifted:
ground, water, sky, pocket;
and the distance is measured
through the rifles’ prisms.

With nightmares
they get paid
with screams of companions
mowed and wasted
and with horror stories to tell.

Oh, who invented those triggers
that have prints of fingers?
It’s all about money
and it’s all about lands.

It’s an alien kingdom
and it’s about men of clay
who make war for a living
but in the name of what god?

Mihaela Melnic (born in Romania) is an Italian poetess and writer of short fictional stories. She currently lives in Rome, the Caput Mundi that has been, to a degree, her muse ever since 2011. The intricacy of human nature that too often travels on a parallel path with the simplicity of that displayed by animals, have been often precious sources of inspiration for her verses. Mihaela's first bilingual poetry collection, Change Of Seasons, written in English and Italian, was released in 2018. She is currently working on a collaborative book of poems and short stories titled Evermore, set to be published later this year through 17Numa Press. Read other articles by Mihaela.