1. Home Front

From the recording Just War

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"Home Front," by Leigh Herrick. Performed by Leigh Herrick.



Though I am late, each snowflake falls onto the skylight dropping with degrees like the
scarcity of language that offers little generosity but lives within the outdoor rise of
breathy whisperings and the best guesses at happy/merry seasonal greetings
while we live up to our turtlenecks in Pax Romana, by which I am made more late
it seems, too late to lift from genocide all this land, too late it seems to alter or oppose munitioned securities commissioned for the seas and sands making me in fact so far
too late, too late for great lakes too late for the gulfs, so tied I am to my own conditioning
that I am late for everything, too late for West Bengal and Bangladesh, too late for
the village called Back of Fence, too late to save next month’s Texas execution, too late
to change identities and keep my color-coded political body in the green, I am too late to
meet you in language I am too late to agree how letters relieve or betray during times
like these that have always been the repetition of times like then from which I was born
too late, making myself even later than I am, being too late for fame, too late for
anonymity, too late for peace and the prisoners of war, too late for men at Guantanamo,
too late for soil or even the corn grown next to ProdiGene’s advocated prodigies,
I am too late for germ-line perpetuity or the words that curl like taffy on the tongue of
thought that is nevertheless itself too late, too late for the latest oil spill in Spain, too late
for the Kurds or the Caspian Sea, late by thousands of years and degrees, too late
too late for all the troubles flown or grown my lateness my questionable necessity held
in the prisons of the silencing stands that are themselves always on time in time
that does not sweep the shadows clean but stays a future stilled within this frame
that has borne me out too late for what will come in this old hour in whose time I am
too late though able now to call your name, old enough now to say what I can,
though I am still too late for everything, late for even this, my mourning song,
though it unravels from the lace of my ancient tongue.