A Day of Peace – a poem by Merril D. Smith

A Day of Peace

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning

White gull soars into the blushing sky,
drops a clam shell on the beach,

leaving it
for the boy to find.

He’s never seen the sea before
but he’s seen fragmented beauty

in his shattered city,
of broken statues.


Dark clouds roll in from the horizon,
the boy picks up the broken shell,

puts it in his pocket,
a token of hope.

Mackerel sky, mackerel sky, never long wet and never long dry.

One raindrop falls,
then another

landing on the woman’s greying hair,
dripping down her sun-weathered face.

She sniffs the air, smiles
at the scent of damp earth

imagines the corn that will rise
from the thirsty ground,

smiles, as the raindrops fall faster,
drumbeats upon the earth,

waking it,
quenching it

with more than her blood–
both sated and alive.

Once in a blue moon

the sky clears,
the moon silvered-full hovers

over sea and land,

the woman stands on her porch and watches it,

to the sounds of the night,
thinking she can hear the corn grow,

or the moon
humming a lullaby for the fitful world.

In his new bedroom,
the boy takes the shell from his pocket,

gazes up to the sky,
he hears no thuds,

no sniper rat-tat-tat-tats,
only the wind sighing, blowing

him dreams of flying like a gull
over a moonlit sea.


Merril D. Smith is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in American History and numerous books on history and gender issues. Her poetry and stories have appeared recently in Rhythm & Bones, Vita Brevis, Streetlight Press, Ghost City, Twist in Time, and Mojave Heart Review. Her blog is at merrildsmith.com.


  1. This is a lovely poem by Merril Smith. I think it is interesting how she incorporated our common everyday expressions we all learned while young. This method wove dimension and history into this piece of original poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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