Western Friend logo

“Bulletin” and “Lincoln”

Marybeth Webster
On Conflict (January 2023)
Inward Light
Bulletin from My Nursing Home

My world both shrinks and grows.
One day, a glorious god’s-ray
aimed directly at my heart; 
then a declining, dying Dodo.

Little brown birds peck on my deck.
A Flicker steals their seed.

Another country bombed by robots.
A man-god waves at cheering crowds.

The “Defense” budget soars.
My masked keeper delivers my food.
I refill the hummingbirds’ nectar.
My world both shrinks and grows.

(December 2022)


Remembering January 6, 2021

Abraham Lincoln

Your pain-filled face
is easy to call up
on the screen
of my old mind.
Your death is of my own close kin. I grieve.

Empowerment, born from anguish,
rays from your history-ravaged face,
your Colorado marble eyes
gazed down at me at six.
I gazed at you in worship.

A wood-block print from third grade text,
seared your face on my child’s tender mind,
secured my love of country.
I, massively ignorant, loving,
swore my life to your dream.

I tried to share your pain
with the busy masses of Americans
Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis,
who knew, deep down,
our shared yearning to amend.

And now we stand before you
while savages invade the capitol
to kill again
your dream of liberty, of unity.
Our marble eyes weep blood.

(December 2022)


Aging social conflict democracy

Return to "On Conflict" issue