Eric R. Nolan

Eric Robert Nolan graduated from Mary Washington College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He spent several years a news reporter and editorial writer for the Culpeper Star Exponent in Culpeper, Virginia. His work has also appeared on the front pages of numerous newspapers in Virginia, including The Free Lance – Star and The Daily Progress. Eric entered the field of philanthropy in 1996, as a grant writer for nonprofit healthcare organizations.

Eric’s poetry has been featured in many forums, including Dead Beats Literary Blog, Dagda Publishing, and The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive.

LIBERTY’S GAL

Italian blood runs hot
Under coffee-colored African skin,
Through Vietnamese veins, fed
By a jackhammer Irish heart.

Lithe Iranian hands
Guide a Swedish skirt
Across Parisian legs.

Share an irreverent joke.
She laughs with the warmth of Canada.
Her Samoan smile comes easily.

Ask and she’ll join you in
A Brazilian toast,
A Vatican prayer,
Old Arabian verses
Or Norwegian song.

Argue, if you like.
She is prone to opinions and forgiving of dissent.
Her Japanese adherence to honor
Is expressed with British civility.

She’s used to disagreement,
And she’ll answer back –
Greek logic and Chinese wisdom
Are equally at her command.

But don’t touch her. Never arouse
Her Spanish temper;
Her German sense of purpose;
Her Russian tolerance for grief;
Her Colombian notions of vengeance.

Never arouse
Her Australian, white-knuckled toughness:
Her Native American will
To guard the dirt at her toes:
Her Puerto Rican sense
Of protection of kin.

Never arouse
Her Afghan memory,
Her Israeli flair for reprisal.
She’s wont to undertake
A Mexican vendetta.

And if aroused, nothing can deter her:

Not illness in envelopes.
Not zealots in caves.
Not soot-colored cities or glass in the streets.

Not desert alchemy,
Or the asymmetric threat
Of a holocaust virus,

Not the grimace of a gap-toothed skyline,
Or silence in engine-less skies
As vast iron birds – once as commonplace as swallows –
Are felled to the ground.