Peace is Naïve



Peace is Naïve


Watching a murder

of crows bully a

lone hawk across a

low flagstone sky.


“Red-assed bastard was probably trying

to poach an egg or nestling,”

says Uncle Frank.


My mind finds a quick memory

of a mother hare kicking a crow

to death. Defending her own.

A video somebody posted.

Looked real. I don’t share it with him.


It’s the holiday season and

the trailer park Frank lives

in is quiet for a change.

The temp is above freezing

and agreeable for this time of year.

Folks are out spree shopping

or amen-ing on their knees at the

church down by the river.


We’ve been doing some

early drinking. Stretched out

in lawn chairs on the gravel

driveway beside the double wide.

The cooler is half empty.


Sunday morning monotony

breaks as Frank cracks

another Rolling Rock and starts

telling me a story about the

sorties in Vietnam. The Christmas

bombings. Linebacker II.


He was there to see it, hear it,

smell it, feel it and suffer through it.

Search and Destroy. Lucky

to have made it out alive only

to return back home to bullshit.

So many didn’t. Kids killing kids

inside napalm clouds.


Frank says, “peace is naïve.”

I think of bleeding heart college

students in pressed Che Guevara t-shirts

and soundly agree.


“One of our shot down B-52s is still rusting

away on snot green Huu Tiep Lake in

Hanoi hell,” Frank shouts

as he crushes his drained can and casts

it out into the ugly brown weeds.


“Doves nest and fly from the ruins

of the godforsaken thing. They turned it into a

monument. There’s your fucking peace!”


Frank is red as a raw rump roast.

He’s drunk and that’s the goal.

Music would be good right now.


Soon he will start calling out for Susan,

his wife that died young and beautiful.

He will walk back into the trailer and

find the teddy bear made from the clothes

she wore on her last day in hospice.


Frank coughs and tosses another dead soldier into

the weeds. Now he’s nearing the bottom of the next one.

I’m nursing mine and trying to keep Aunt Susan

out of my mind for a while. Sometimes I think

of her as a place where nature remains unscathed.


I tell Frank a story about the rabbits

of Berlin. Generations of them that lived

in a warren on no man’s land in the

shadow of the wall. How they abided there

without fear of predators. Too light to detonate

the planted land mines. Telling this

story brings me peace. I look


over and find Frank fast asleep

and snoring up a storm. The peace-

ful look on his face tells me he’s dreaming

of something like home. Maybe Susan

before the sickness. The light

between his body and her body

before the wars they knew.


I close my eyes and wonder.

For something like a stretched out

second peace is upon me too.

A feeling worth fighting for.


The hawk quietly returns alone

to its place of rest. Solitary refinement.

Too high up to see us sleeping down here

in the ruins. We miss her entirely.




Will Crawford



Will Crawford is the author of Amber Waves (Hare of the God Books), Actual Tigers (Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House), and Fire in the Marrow (NeoPoiesis Press). His stories and poems have appeared globally in magazines, journals and book anthologies such as, The Criterion, Poetic Diversity L.A., and Ted Ate America. His work has been nominated multiple times for awards and prizes including the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, People’s Book Prize (U.K.), and The Pushcart Prize. He is currently working on a screenplay about body dysmorphia tentatively titled, Mirrornaut. Will abides in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Kimberly and their menagerie. Will's passions include: animal rights, music, films, cooking, and esoteric arts. He enjoys the way dreams lack conclusion.

Direct Book Link: Amber Waves


  1. tour de force quality work. i noticed atypical in length for this journal. the editors here have a good eye for style and image.

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