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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Soldier

El Soldado (The Soldier)

A mother’s womb contracts
the day her son goes off to fight,
remembers a crown of twigs in his hair,
chubby fingers pointing a branch at her,
“Bang-bang, Mama, you’re dead.”

She tries to tell him, “War is a breakdown of reason.”
But he’s a citizen of a world that kills
women bent at rivers, children curled in blankets.
The weight of metal warming in his hand
makes him feel he’s a man.

Originally published in the Monterey Poetry Review

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee, "Clasp Variation"

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