War, What is it Good For?

War, What is it Good For?

are we at war he asks
after dumping my laundry on the bed
the person who is neat and precise
each word snaps like a sling shot
are                   it pops on my left temple
we                   it snaps like a rubber band
at                     burns my eyelids
war                  my neck whip lashes
naw...don't think so I lie with a face of death
a heart of coal
a quivering pulse
suspicion fear anger
my armor rises and covers my chest
my helmet moves in place, covers my face
my knife hangs from my belt
removing myself from the room
for the safety of all
gnashing my teeth
folding my clothes
it is hard
one minute you have peace
the next foxholes are dug
war declared
you started it
no you did the scent of anger rises
smokey and dark
the air crackles and sizzles around us
stepping to the window
my attention is drawn to
the rose bush we babied along
worried it was growing tall, lean but barren
yellow rose buds have made it past the thorns
sepals and petals blush with blooms
he comes over curious about what I see
he stands close
the thorn at my side
redolent with the perfume of peace
my armor evaporates like raindrops
on a battle-hot day
our hands nest back instinctively
we face the window light
…we see the roses
…the garden we nurtured enriched
with peat moss, aged bark
time and grit
….a breeze picks up
and petals fall
tiny buds grasp onto branches
determined to flower into a swirl of roses
battle fatigued
we watch fingers crossed
hope held close

Nilsa Ivette Mariano

Photo: Eric Ward on Unsplash

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