Black and white

an officer is given the task
to point his rifle
into the back
of a mother
in rags
by the side of a gulch
who cradles in her
enveloping arms
her son, her daughter
her child
the tiny legs hanging
the head and heart
tucked back into the womb
the mother a mother again
at birth
ready to explode
and grant the
barren earth
two flowers to mark the spot
where ruthless in tall boots
obscured by rifle scope
a man washed out by
the starch of a uniform
heeds the orders
with controlled exact
a puppet on strings
who pulls at them?
the strings, the trigger
who cuts them free?
if a mother nestling her child
has no power to ease
an officer’s grip
it must be up to me

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