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The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature > Poet Laureate Projects > Poetry for the Mind's Joy > Winning Poem: Holy War
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This poem was submitted for the "Poetry for the Mind's Joy" project and is reproduced here with permission from the author. All rights reserved. Poetry for the Mind's Joy is Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's project that includes a community college poetry contest administered by the Community College Humanities Association and a lively videoconference.

The sun cascades on the desert sand,
And I am reminded of where I am.
Far from the place that I call home,
In a danger zone all alone.
My family and friends that I hold dear,
Watch the news with anxiety and fear.
As I say my prayers each night,
A restless sleep for tomorrow’s fight.
“A holy war” is what they cry,
As I watch my brothers die.
Uncertainty fills every trip,
As I pray the bombs don’t hit.
In a few months I’ll leave this land
And go back home a very different man.

Century College, White Bear Lake, MN
Faculty Contact: David Conrad, English Department