This Poem was Submitted By: Latorial D. Faison On Date: 2005-05-03 19:55:47 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Traces of War

they have been strewn all about me my bed, my children, my home, my life dusty pieces of denial that cling to us as my children wander into our kitchen for cool glasses of milk and into our arms for comfort, the memories stick like grit as we caress one another from head to toe we still feel the fear of yesterdays filled with so much unknown, uncertainty, unrest there are too many sands of sadness, yet  we pick up the pieces every day to move  on from what carried us so far away

Copyright © May 2005 Latorial D. Faison

Additional Notes:
(revised)If you read the first version, please critique this one. Thanks. The previous version has b een removed from readership at TPL.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas H. Smihula On Date: 2005-06-02 07:26:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.93103
Latorial, The statements within this poem are straight and to the point. So many readers forget that poetry is about expressing positions and viewpoints. You have done this once again in this poem showing the reader about the forgotten ones and the families they have jarred. Yes we do move forward picking up the pieces. My favorite parts include: too many sands of sadness, feel the fear of yesterdays, dusty pieces of denial. These give the reader realities. Very well structured, presentation has an even flow, another excellent poem. Thanks, Thomas

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-05-25 10:26:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Latorial: As always, I draw so much from your poetry. I always read it, although I haven’t responded to many of your poems lately, but not because I have not been absorbing them, drawing strength from them, and listening to your poet’s heart. they have been strewn all about me my bed, my children, my home, my life dusty pieces of denial that cling to us You show how life is fragmented when we are separated from loved ones, though the ‘dusty pieces’ still need tending, are life, are alive and alive in us, though we may be a thousand miles away. as my children wander into our kitchen for cool glasses of milk and into our arms for comfort, the memories “stick like grit” – incredible onomatopoeia The return, your husband’s return, only eases the pain somewhat, because I think you show us here, the reality sinks in more slowly than the fear retreats. The comfort of your closeness feels a bit like a shelter in the aftermath of a tidal wave. You are close but still very much in shock for the possibilities and the endless worry and denial of what might have happened. as we caress one another from head to toe we still feel the fear of yesterdays filled with so much unknown, uncertainty, unrest Beautifully stated, simply, directly. Your immediate, authentic vision, gives a strong sense of the emotional unrest, takes hold of me as I read. there are too many sands of sadness, yet we pick up the pieces every day to move on from what carried us so far away Latorial, you have a way of delving into the reality of things, with many layers, but much simplicity. I never read a poem of yours without feeling changed, without considering life and all it holds more reverently. Again, as always, you write with your soul. I feel as though you are well and truly back. I am joyous for you and your children, for your husband’s safe return. Blessings always, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Duane J Jackson On Date: 2005-05-15 20:23:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.72727
Hi Latorial, I am thrilled to find another one of your poems on my list and once again you have drawn my attention to a very stark reality. I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreaciated every one of your submissions this month. If my interpretation is correct this time, 'Traces of War' deals with the African-american history and the movement of the community far from its roots to the shores of the Unites States of America: 'there are too many sands of sadness, yet we pick up the pieces every day to move on from what carried us so far away'--------this is a deep reflection and a probable reference to the portion of Africans who were dispatched to the USA and elsewhere to work as slaves under the most inhuman of circumstances. Through this poem you have recreated this lingering past ('as my children wander into our kitchen/for cool glasses of milk and into our arms/for comfort, the memories stick like grit) in a african-american household and I am sure there are many such households that live with the suffering with their forefathers and with the uncertainty of the futures of generations to come. 'Traces Of War', therefore does not necessarily speak about real war but and internal war of the spirits, a mental one that supressed and violated a commmmunity. I have always been interested in cultures and communities and have followed the history of African-Americans. The Civil Rights Movement has inspired me in several ways even though I am a long way away in India with a very different history. Have you watched the movie 'The Long Walk Home'? It was very touching and had to do with the struggles of an African-american woman who worked as a servant in a white home. Keep posting!! Take Care, Duane.
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-05-11 10:47:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.75000
I don't remember the first one. Sounds like you're a bit down...dusty pieces of denial...sands of sadness...there is a lot of remorse here. PP depression maybe? Fear? Maybe. Mid-life crisis? Maybe. Mental Pause? Maybe. But other than that it is well written and very expressive and honest. I trust you will work it out.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wanda S. Thibodeaux On Date: 2005-05-08 12:17:55
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.00000
Dear Latorial, What is so amazing about your work is your passion, your intense feelings about life and what you and your ancestors knew and felt, what they witnessed, what they endured. Every time I read your poetry, I just want to put my arms around you and tell you-- You are not your ancestors, I am not my ancestors. We may resemble them, etc. but we aren't really like them. Our minds and hearts have changed many times down through the generations. Now we stand alone in our convictions and it is our own (in the now) racial integrity we must be aware of. I, too, have had so much happen to me that I am unable to forget, like recurring nightmares, those times haunt my daylife, my nightlife, makes no distinction between the two, just whenever, it takes me wandering down question-mark paths, always coming to an no-answer end-- and I write with your intensity. I am so grateful for my mother's heart, she taught love for everyone as a whole, telling us to love our neighbor and they would love us. I have tried to keep that advise, that no one is different except by heart alone. If someone wants to be evil, they will be and same for those who project goodwill and live by those guidelines. I have picked my path, to love all races, treat all races the same, and try to maintain peace at all cost within the realms of my own capabilities. "as we caress one another from head to toe-we still feel the fear of yesterdays filled with- so much unknown, uncertainty, unrest- there are too many sands of sadness,yet-we pick up the pieces every day to move-on from what carried us so far away." Yes, this is the right action plan. I didn't understand about racism until I became an adult. We just weren't raised to dislike anyone. Some of the happiest people I've ever met have been of the black race, I was actually jealous, then I learned how to study History and knew the truth, different story all together. I had a friend, Molly, who lived just across the gully (shall we say) from us and she kept inviting us children to her church so one Sunday, our mom said we could skip ours and go with her. We did and what transpired was so different, it scared us half to death. When we asked Molly what was happening, she said the Holy Ghost was there and the church was rocking, well, we had never witnessed such loud obvious talking in tongues, such stirring testimonials, we were expecting Jesus on his white steed any moment and I wanted my mama to be there when he came. Not two years later, we were spending time at my aunt's in Georgia and she was asked to speak at a nearby church (not her own Methodist). Before we left, she admonished us about behavior and told us to be quiet no matter what happened. The church was filled with all white, well dressed families. I had on my best red dress borrowed just for the occasion. The service started and there was a break for my aunt to speak and all was well. Then the minister began to preach again and I heard the warning about wearing clothes of color, especially red and I looked down with disdain at my dress, wishing I could strip it off and just stand there in my white petticoat, because by now, there were people crashing to their knees and beseeching God in different tongues, the congregation was crying and testifying at the same time and my feet had the most awful urge to run out the door and down that dirt road as fast as possible. The only thought in my head was, this is no different than Molly's church, we're all alike and my aunt would have some explaining to do. I always thought their prayers became so loud and scrambled because I had on that red dress. Anyway, Latorial, none of this will make you feel any safer, any luckier, it won't take away the pain you've suffered from past history. I just want to say for me those old days are gone and I am my own pathfinder, I choose one of joy and companionship with all mankind. Sincerely always, Best wishes! Wanda
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-05-04 00:38:35
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Poet.....a touching poem, I do not recall if I read the original version , good structure, word flow, emotionally packed.......images of the past, different times and places brought together in this future time and perhaps in times to still come.......good strong title, Traces of War.........once the battle began it seems there will always be traces of war, no matter whether it be a physical war , emotional war or spiritual war......and a war of the people touching you and reaching out...........well done poet........hopefully some of the memories you might have will ease over the years, it is right to protect oneself though and ones glasses of milk and wandering into your arms for comfort.......nicely stated.......thanks for posting, reposting and sharing this with us. God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Audrey R Donegan On Date: 2005-05-04 00:21:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
Nice revision, Audrey
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