my graffito

by Margaret Tsuda

If I were given to
graffiti, I would
chalk up on walls
        love/duty
        duty/love

Thought of as inimical
these two words are
really
obverse and reverse
coined of the same metal—
base or pure of our
own selection.

Ask some who knew
both very well:
the Apostle Paul
Florence Nightingale
Martin Luther King.
They will tell you that the
larger the
love the
greater the labor.

        love/duty
        duty/love

Four letter words?

 

img_8413-1 (3)
Image: Jordan Allen

Shortly after the United States entered World War II, New-York born Margaret Tsuda was evacuated from California to a Utah internment camp because of her Japanese ancestry. She later made her home in Newark, where she published two books of poetry. “My Graffito” appeared in the Christian Science Monitor of March 17, 1970, and in her collection Cry Love Aloud (1972).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s