Poem | Sarah Browning | US Lifts Vietnam Arms Ban

Sarah Browning pierces the veil of artifice. She lives, breathes and stands for justice; using poetry to create the larger conversation. Her poems may be of real world effects, or matters central to her spirit, yet we can count on each poem to be a line of inquiry that searches for truth in action. Part of a spirited community that is working for social justice, she remains highly individual, like any true artist.   -Grace Cavalieri


US Lifts Vietnam Arms Ban

In an act of friendship

In an act of reconciliation

In an act of free market

In an act of capitalism and love


The arms dealers of Northern Virginia rejoice


The IT guys for the arms dealers of Northern Virginia

    rejoice, eating mussels on 14th Street, NW


The rental agents of the marble countertop apartments 

on 14th Street, NW, who market to the IT guys 

for the arms dealers of Northern Virginia, rejoice, eating mussels


The developers rejoice 


The mayor, whose reelection will be paid for

by the developers who build the marble countertop

apartments on 14th Street, NW, rejoices


Donald Trump (suing the city), whose new hotel

in our old post office will house the visiting 

Vietnamese procurement officers, rejoices


The Vietnamese procurement officers rejoice


In an act of gratitude

In an act of procurement

In an act of free trade

In an act of capitalism and love

Sarah Browning is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden and Killing Summer (forthcoming, 2017) and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology, she is the recipient of artist fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, a Creative Communities Initiative grant, and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and POETRY magazine. Since 2006, Browning has co-hosted the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC.