Our War Is from Within
These generations growing up live in a war zone.
A war like none before.
There are no drafts, no rations, no military burials.
The war is in our homes, our schools, our churches,
temples, movie theaters, synagogues, shopping malls.
On our streets.
The drills, the role-play, the weaponry,
These are recognizable.
The war is not fought against unknown invaders or foreigners
The war is here, it is us.
We can’t see our enemy, or hear our enemy.
Because they look like us. They sound like us.
We have grown our enemy. Home-grown.
To destroy it is to cut off an arm, or leg,
because it is a part of who we’ve become.
That is what makes it the most elusive, most resilient of enemies.
Who is willing to cut off their own hand, the hand that feeds them, to defeat the enemy?
Who will be the first to sacrifice what they have won, so that another can survive?
Those are the tests that spark the battles. And the battles become the war.
Except, the fallout.
Young men die. Their mothers mourn, why?
Children fear the dark, to be alone,
to be among the crowd.
Parents anxious to see their own line up to wait, to watch.
The reunion is a pause in anxiety, until it begins again.
Separation and joinder.
Comradery and suspicion.
It is a war zone.
A war like none before.
We are not them.
Yes, we are them.
Featured photo by Christopher Bowns via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
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I think the hope comes from our kids ?
Heartbreaking, yet beautifully captured here in your writing. What are we becoming. How can we make it stop. I feel utterly helpless, sometimes, to make change as it seems almost impossible now. We need help.
I agree, it’s terrible.
It’s so sad. I know kids who are suffering anxiety because of it.
Sigh… I wish I could say what you have written is an exaggeration, except that I don’t think it is.
I fear what you fear, too. Are we too late to make a change? It seems like nothing is happening. There are no reactions anymore.
One sad day rolls into another – tragic week after tragic week surge at us like waves at the beach. These horrific incidents of violence are fueled by division and hatred but most of all fear – a fear stoked by the people “in charge” of protecting us. Instead they’re used as weapons to divide us even more. I fear that we are being “set-up” for a great fall like this country has never seen.