View Archives by:


Old Europe and Love

Donald Illich

Streets named for World War battles.
We were defeated here. Victorious there.

On Somme Avenue, we fought
to a standstill, until our argument

poisoned the air, battalions of nouns
and verbs fell far below forgiveness.

Near Normandy we invaded each
other, so neither of us could determine

who was thrust back from the shore,
and who withstood machine gun

fire from above to reunite our forces.
Now we're both wed in Berlin, ready

for our children to cross the Rhine
to school to find new friends over

the Marne, beyond the Channel,
to neighborhoods sprinkled with seas

and the vessels they'll set sail in,
leaving us, Old Europe, its destructive

battles, carrying the scars to their
cohabitations, American Civil Wars.

Donald Illich

Read Bio

Author Discusses Poems