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Author: Joanne Lowery
Location: Michigan

Joanne Lowery’s poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Birmingham Poetry Review, 5 AM, Passages North, Atlanta Review, One Trick Pony, and Poetry East. Her chapbook Diorama was the winner of the Poems & Plays 2006 Tennessee Chapbook Prize.

Rape and Pillage, 1855

In the land of Hector
whose shining helm and valor became song,
the allies avenged themselves
by crossing the Black Sea to lay waste Kertch.
Brit, Frank, and Turk took the town down

and then took the women
and Hellenic art from the museum.
The spring sunshine sparkled
on shards, urns, tablets, statues,
and scholarly tools reduced intentionally
to new dust. Women wept,
curators wept, Russians wept like Greeks
for a past that was gone.
The body of Hector was dragged
for the fun of it, an ancient vase smashed
for the fun of it, bones and vaginas crushed
as part of a long tradition.
Didn’t Homer tell us what war was like?
His name lay freshly broken on the floor.

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