By Patricia Wellingham-Jones

“Babies get killed in wars.”
--The 365 Project, 3/15/03

A seed planted in passion—
or after a fight,
or an all-night drunk,
or forced into an unwilling body
at the point of a knife—
that seed takes 9 long months
to germinate.

The bud that pushes forth
into air takes 18 years
of heart-stopping joy,
occasional tears,
many frowns, frequent
tearings of hair
to reach what the law
calls maturity.

The labor involved
in getting this human fruit
to harvest is immense.
At any stage in the process
things can go wrong.

The most wrong of these
is war.

Spears, arrows, sabers,
Gatling guns, torpedoes,
today’s computer-guided missiles
destroying palaces in the sand
all leave fields of rotting bodies
in their wake.

Each human demolished in battle
was some woman’s baby.

Previous published in The 365 Project, 2003


Patricia Wellingham-Jones, former psychology researcher/writer/editor, has been published in journals, newspapers, anthologies, and online. Her most recent books are Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer, Labyrinth: Poems & Prose, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level and Lummox Press Little Red Book series, A Gathering Glance. She lives in northern California.


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