"For the Parents" is as relevant today as it was when I went to war. A discussion I had a few years ago with friends concerning how parents might feel if their child went to war prompted this poem. As a parent, this conversation prompted me to think about how I might feel if my son went to war. It is not meant to agitate parents whose child or children are in war or parents whose child will be in war. It merely reflects my understanding of war and how parents might deal with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual difficulties related to having one's child in combat. The "variations" speak of the support that family and community could give to war strained parents and their son or daughter soldiers.
For the parents whose child is a
combat soldier in war:
of the odds: sixty percent
wounded, ten percent killed,
and many deeply scared.
My child is dead.
'cause in war
For the son or daughter whose father and/or mother is . . .
For the sister or brother whose sister and/or brother is: . .
For the wife or husband whose spouse is . . .
For the partner whose partner is . . .
For the grand parent whose grandchild is . . .
For the uncle or aunt whose niece and/or nephew is . . .
For the cousin whose cousin is . . .
For the woman or man whose sweetheart is
For the neighbor whose neighbor is . . .
For the in-law whose in-law is . . .
For the mail deliverer, grocery clerk, dry cleaner, baker, etc. whose customer is . . .
For the councilperson, mayor, senator, etc. whose constituent is . . .
For the president, prime minister, etc whose fellow citizen is . . .
For the country whose citizens are . . .
For the citizen of the world whose fellow citizen is . . .
For the human whose fellow human is . . .
For the God whose loving creation is . . .