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Monday, November 10, 2008

VETERANS DAY 2008 - A POEM

MOTHER AND SON - FROM ONE WAR TO THE NEXT

The stories told in staring eyes,
monotoned during daylight, and
screamed through haunted darkness,
bespoke unimaginable horror.

The anguish inflicted on my generation
warned of a military madness
that feeds upon the newborn.
I bore fear along with my child

Even as my womb cradled and nurtured,
I knew one day they would come.
Drawn by youth, thirsting fresh blood,
they'd come for you those Vampires of War.

Joyful colors clothed your childhood.
Your favorite: purple.
Never the small-sized uniforms that foreshadow dark future.
Cammies aren't meant for kids.

No guns for my son!
No ominous plastic noise makers
pressed to imitate authoritarian threat!
So you pretended sticks into rifles.

Mother songs lullabied hope and peace
while soldiers who'd put down their weapons
and the millions in our streets,
ended the Tonkin-induced war.

Vietnam swept G.I. Joe from toy store shelves.
But the dolly boy resurrected to
trickle down into little boy hands
via Reagan's pipe dream presidency.

You grew while I taught you to value humanity,
to share, to love, to respect.
I showed you how to step into other existences
yet they lurked. Vulture-like. Watching. Waiting,

Ready to stalk when restless and unsure,
You lost your way in school.
Adventure! Money! Manhood! A mere GED away.
You turned your head, and your life.

The truth, with which I'd armed you, once targeted,
was swiftly and effectively neutralized.
You swallowed their bait. They set the hook
and reeled your from my arms.

Fourteen years on, the PTSD hid behind your unfocused stare.
It was your guarded monotone I heard during the day.
And you who faced the dark demons brought by sleepless terror, Alone.
We could not protect you there.

Then you challenged the Vampires of War
by speaking truth to their prey
and turned numerous boys from a war-torn path
your brother among those who walked away.

And now, You've survived the battle within.
Victorious, you win it still every day,
giving each of us who love you
the freedom to finally say...

Welcome Home Son, Welcome Home.

Love you, Mom
November, 2008
___________________________________

I've been working on this poem since September. I began it after the Veterans For Peace Convention while we were visiting family in Michigan. It has taken me two months to complete after many rewrites. I was determined to finish it by Veterans Day because I am sure that it is a story oft repeated.

The story is true and is dedicated to my eldest son, a disabled veteran.

We must replace the Culture of War with a Culture of Peace.

What if they gave a war and nobody came?
KWW

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10 Comments:

Anonymous soldiersdaughter-peacepoet said...

Thank you for writing this poem for Veterans Day, this is a powerful and much needed poem. I write poems, collect and share poems to raise awareness about veterans issues and lack of mental health-care for veterans with the hopes that we will improve the care.

I am sharing links to your poem on my poetry website, myspace/poemsforpeace, and message boards online. Thank you for sharing this poem about your son -it is these real stories that need to be heard.
Thinking of you and your family today,
daughter of disabled (ptsd)Vietnam veteran.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I must thank you for your kind words.I am also happy to see that you are dedicated to raising awareness about veteran's issues.

I am a veteran, too, and a member of Veterans For Peace. I am on my way to march in San Diego's Veteran's Day parade (here in SD the VFP is not barred from participation).

It is because of what I saw and experienced here in the states during '68 and '69 that I was so very afraid for my unborn child. Now we must also worry about the girls.

I will visit your websites as soon as I get a chance and will be thinking about you and yours today.

8:20 AM  
Blogger deuddersun said...

You bring me to tears, Sister.

d.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Carol Gee said...

KWW, I am glad to read your wonderful poem. Magnificent way to send honor to Vets on their day.
I am also delighted to read your recent posts. Your voice rings loud and clear - a celebratory bell.

My own anti-war poetry , "Make War No More" was written in 2004 and posted in January of 2006. I would feel honored if you were to read it.

Peace to you and those you love, Carol

3:58 AM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

KWW...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year or any other Holidays you follow to you and all your loved ones.

May the New Year be filled with nothing but love and joy for you and yours.

God Bless.

10:38 AM  
Blogger deuddersun said...

Merry Christmas Sister. Thank you for the gift of friendship you have given me. May the New Year bring you and yours health, happiness and prosperity.

d.

8:24 AM  
OpenID Shaugh69 said...

Hey Sis,

Just taking a moment to note what would have been Dad's 85th today. RIP.

Hope all is well. I'm doing OK.

Brian

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Labrys said...

Thank you for the poem. Thank you for your son. We are a family of veterans...father, mother, son and we hate this war. Oh, that we would live to see peace prevail as the rule, not the exception.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Spadoman said...

Just been thinking about you. A year has gone by since we met in Minneapolis. Hope all is good with you and all you hold dear.

Peace.

2:56 AM  
Blogger JanuskieZ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:30 PM  

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