Are the dead at peace in the ground?
wrapped in loam, slow dissolving to earth.
Is the mother at peace in travail,
wracked apart that a child might be born?
Does a man find peace as he toils
for a cause, half around the world’s girth?
Were the martrys at peace as they sang
to the God for whose sake they were torn?

It is not for a corpse the soul yearns;
Not a woman would hold the babe back;
As fresh vigour seeps from aching limbs,
joy of purpose gives pilgrims new lease;
Martyrs were spirits consoled:
‘All’s well’ – quiet and patience I lack –
But through muddled strife of my days,
I am in peace.

 

Ruth Asch published her first book of poetry ‘Reflections’ in 2009 (St Austin Press) and individual pieces in many journals since. She writes poetry in rare quiet and inspired moments, and otherwise is the mother of four and sometimes a teacher. Her roots are in England but she has been living and teaching for some years in France and Spain.   

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