The Anger of Mothers
The anger and
of a mother before an anonymous gravestone:
Under a warm full moon
Another floating face,
Another name unknown.
Another stranger who will never breathe, “Yes, let’s go.”
She knows the hot drum beat.
She knows somewhere, right now, a soldier goes into the wilds of war
eager and excited
immortal until blown away
as though there never were graves for unsung dust.
Beneath the trees
she feels the bleakness of knowing some mother’s child is dying
their memory no heavier than a floating kite string.
Looking out upon the crisp white headstones
she sees a row of death
and another and another and another.
She looks down, remembering:
After all the car seats facing backward,
the healthy snacks and looking-both-ways;
after all the bike helmets and dentist visits,
the late night watch over fevers and croup;
A child went blindly into war’s alley.
She knows politicians have the gift of tongues.
They know how to sell a victorious ending for anything.
They know youth hurts: they capitalize on their pain.
They know youth says, “I want;” they promise they will.
They know youth must; their greed brays “onward, onward.”
Youth’s desire for a bigger life makes them prey;
The robber barons of war feed on their salt and blood.
Men of greed swindle, bully or blackmail by
Preaching the true Hero’s Journey is war with The Other.
There has to be an Other. Any Other will do.
You want to be the hero of your own story so you listen.
Their refined pitch has clever, taunting words.
Your expectant eyes can’t foresee the future;
your heart quickens to their beat.
Your death is their victory.