January 12, 2012


by John Paul Lederach

Her hand started shaking
And wouldn't stop.
Life changed forever.
Aspen leaves
In an endless wind.
Our hearts followed suit.


Do I have that stare?" she asked one day.
No, your eyes are still
Deep oceans of green.
Always will be.
No. Your still here.
No. You're still.


We bought books.
Ten of them.
We were not interested
In the moral of the story —
Preferred just waiting
on the page before us.


Trolling off the side of the boat
Her rod caught more trout than anyone.
"You see"
She laughed.
"Shakes are good!"


No exit in sight.
We are learning to live
Alongside the dragon and tiger.
"Let's go and see what happens,"
She always said.

© John Paul Lederach. This poem is reprinted with permission of the author.

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is Professor of International Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.