An Un-Encouraging Icon
My baby was not born
while I was at war
or when I returned.
There's love. I learned
the women use one
fewer consonants than the men
do. There's also lover.
There's not much I can say
about this layer
cake of knowing.
I'm eighty. I'm eighty,
and I was a roller skater.
Sugar. I still have
all my teeth.
The Hope That Life Would Return
The possibilities of every life
Build a culture of life
A culture that values every life
No human life should be started
Assassins took the life
In the hope of an easier life
For each life saved
The loss of innocent life
The matchless value of every life
The dignity of every life
The richness of life
Succeed in life
The path ahead should lead to a better life
We will improve our quality of life
We are grateful for the good life
A life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment
Our job is to make life better
Schools can teach this fact of life
Children succeed in life
Get involved in the life of a child
Taking on gang life
The knowledge and character they need in life
Change a life forever
The rest of your lifetime
Extend life for many years
People receiving life-saving drugs
Eventually come back to life
Self-appointed rulers control every aspect of every life
The United States is a partner for a better life
Life since 9/11 has never been the same
A special place in our country's life
The shadows of American life
Human life is never bought
Human life is a gift from our creator
The loving god behind all of life.
Text from State of the Union addresses, 2001 – 2007
Jenna Cardinale is the author of Journals, a chapbook from Whole Coconut. Her poems have appeared in number small-press journals, including 6x6, Court Green, and Foursquare. Big Game Books has just published a "tinyside" of her poem, "Four Hands." She lives in New York.