My ten year old son

Is sitting at the kitchen table,

Reading about ISIS.

For homework, he says,

And I am reading over,

Over his shoulder, how

The terrorists are

Taking over,

Taking over,

Land, regions, people,

How they are killing

Thousands of people,

And, how, we are doing


And he is climbing into bed


And if he asks me what,

What an airstrike is,

I will tell him bombs

Or missiles, a direct target,

And how, how

I do not know exactly.

And if he asks me does it explode,

I will take his words and

Hold them in my hands,

And rearrange them,

Before giving, giving them

Back to him, saying yes or

It does explode.

And I know how heavy words are,

The ones we say and the ones we


The weight of war and what

We say about it,

How it lands somewhere,

And breaks apart, leaving

Legs and letters, arms, the

Head of a child, words, and

A wrist, segments

Of sentences and bodies

On the ground, damage,

Collateral damage, and

This child,

My child, here,

Lying next to me,

In his bed, falling

Asleep now, with

My hand stretched

Out, resting across

His forehead, his hair

Line, and how I am

Shielding his eyes,

Shielding his eyes

And face and neck

Like a Kevlar helmet.

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1 Response to Explode

  1. mjgranger says:

    Nobody knows this pain, this fear but us. How can we bear it?

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