war (poem)

when little boys fight

they kick and push

and pull each other’s hair out

and scream at each other

threatening to call their older brothers

or their fathers

or their mothers

and they promise each other

they’ll never talk again

never play

never share their toys

or secrets

or the little pond in the backyard

or the little frog they caught

or the nice shiny stones they’ve collected

when big men fight (or are they little, like boys?)

they kick and push other men

who can’t kick and push back

because they’re littler than the big men fighting

and they don’t pull hairs

they pull triggers

and they scream at each other silently

through microphones and cameras

and in the newspapers

and they threaten to call down the wrath of God

or Allah

or whoever else is stronger than any of them

and they promise never to talk to each other again

or share their guns and tanks and planes

or secrets

or the little black pools that spout into the air

or the little submarines floating there somewhere

or the shiny yellow stones they’ve collected.

© Cindy Lapeña, 2012

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