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Silent Witness PhotoWellstone memorial POEM by Rosanne Lloyd
one of the 7 originators of the Silent Witness Initiative

Subject: A Tribute to Paul and Sheila

SORROW COMES IN SPADES

for Paul and Sheila Wellstone

cold today third coldest october
but it's my usual fall cold, _tis
the seaon_ i say, in my bathrobe,
drink hot ginger tea, turn to morning
email, john's daily poem today
talks about the toads spading
down five feet to home below the ice
if only we were so lucky
to dive down safe

the season is progressing as expected
downward to the solstice

_what a good verb_ i say, _spade_, i
forward it on, dive into my table
full of student portfolios CNN my
white noise for adding/subtracting points
knocking down Patrick's grade
(sadly, though they won't believe this)
for missing the second poetry reading
even though he does have his bus transfer
for the bus that didn't show

the season is progressing as expected
downward

now CNN is saying the sniper battered
his ex-wives, threatened to end their lives,
refused his children all food except
crackers, honey, and vitamins,
then reporters ask _but were there any signs
he would do something like this?_
the police are spading up his yard

the season is progressing as expected
downward

the sniper is caught we're back to
_showdown iraq_ my students
list the words they love in each other's
poems: _Smashing teapots for Yoko
Ono_, _Egg-spinning equinox_, _Maybe
now you are walking all the places
I have been_ ,sorrow and joy
mix it up in my heart

the season is progressing as expected
downward to the solstice

_plane down in eveleth_ freezing rain
hitting the plane in spades the season
is progressing as expected but it's too
early for plane crashes in the jack piney
marshes too early for iced up wings,
ATV's in bogs even if this is
the third coldest no, the season is

not progressing as expected words

crash about some pilot flies
over the wreck says he says
the numbers on the tail the numbers
are the same _identified_ i see it
hitting the earth like a spade _jim,
i dial, _paul's plane is
down please come home early
it's hard to cry alone_ for a moment i
hold out hope for sheila

the season is progressing as expected
downward to the solstice downward

our bravest citizens, our happy
warriors, the ones
who wear our hearts on their sleeves
have gone to earth, too early, have gone--
gone to ground

where we will find our hope?
_messages burned in ice_

Roseann Lloyd
October 25, 2002


Notes on poem:
The Wellstones saw the connection between domestic violence and other violence. The legislation they developed and got passed the federal law, which, among other things, prohibits those under a restraining order for domestic violence from possessing a firearm. It is because of this law that the man alleged to be the recent sniper couldbe held and detained until other evidence was gathered.

The word spade and last line from john caddy's poem EarthJournal Entry 10.25.2002

EarthJournal Entry 10.25.2002

Earthworms push deeper now, squeeze
through fissures in the soil, now
toads with squeezed eyes
spade down with hind clawed legs
with old cold-blood strength, then
with front legs pull the loose soil up,
pack it tight above their heads
to evade the crystals
frost is reaching down,
crystal filaments like
dendrites growing down
with a message burned in ice.

Toads slumber, but ice is a wakeup call. In a harsh northern winter they
will move five feet down. What a simple, excellent strategy, if you have the
strength and don't mind digging when you're half asleep.

-John Caddy

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