~~  Why War?  ~~


I watched him walk away
in his uniform clean and crisply starched.
Fear lay in his eyes like a deep dark pool
as off to war he marched.

His tender age and innocence would be gone
when or if he returned,
Many lessons learned too soon
and for childhood years he yearned.

His mother stood with her arms
hugging herself as if she still held him,
Her sobs wrenching from her heart
as he left with the rest of them.

"Why war?!" she screamed silently
as his plane flew from her sight.
No sleep would there be for her
through that sad and long, long night.

His shirt held beneath her head
gave a sense he was still near,
But listen as she may
his footsteps at night she would no longer hear.

Closing her eyes and seeing his face
smiling or sad she could do,
And the last words he said echoed in her mind,
"I'll soon be seeing you."

"I love you Mom and don't worry
I'll come back, you'll see,
And when I do we'll be close again,
you, Dad, sis and me."

Weeks, months then years,
no word from her son came to the door.
Calluses she carried on her knees
from kneeling on his floor.

No MIA letter,
no killed in action words were sent her way.
Hope eternal lived within her heart,
he'd be back someday....

Return he did, but not as the boy
she remembered back then,
But as a man who had seen too much,
not the boy he'd been.

His mother still asking on bended knee,
"Why war? Why!"

Now it's time once again
maybe to see her grandson die,
In the place that almost claimed
her beloved son so long ago.

The question still remains,
"Why war?" when it hurts us so.

Norma Marek ~ 30 January 2003


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