Grenville, R. H. “The Peace.” Poems for the Interim: A Selection of Twenty-four Poems by Nineteen Canadian Authors Published during 1945-46 in “Saturday Night.” Toronto: Consolidated, 1946. n.p.

The Peace

At the peace-makers’ table these, too, must be heard;
Dull, earth-muffled voices, each terrible word
Edged like a sword.

Peace for the living is not enough,
Though fields where the murdered fell like wheat
Grow fat with barley and tall with corn,
The bread will choke us that we eat.

Peace is a greater lure than gold…
From blade to ploughshare we beast the sword,
But the dead have something to say to us
And they must be heard.

They were slain in litters along the way,
They were jerked to death while their hands were tied;
If we are to fashion a way of life,
We must remember how they died.

Paying our debt through our children’s sons,
Withholding none of the just increases,
Or seeking to balance their hard new gold
With the old familiar silver pieces.