is Not Always Dying

by Susan Giesen

Why are you so afraid?

It´s all this war talk. My sons will all be draft age very soon. I can´t bear the thought of them ...

Of them what? Are you afraid of them being shot?


Are you afraid of them being disabled, losing an arm, a leg, being blinded?

It´s not that. I could live with that and so could they.

It must be death that you fear so much. The thought of losing them.

No, it´s much worse than that.

What could be worse than that?

I´ve seen soldiers come home. It´s the look in their eyes. My sons have never had that look, and I don´t ever want to see it in their eyes.

What look?

Emptiness. Like their souls have been raped, and their spirits smothered. They are walking tombs.

You see too many movies, and read to much.

If I had never seen a movie or read one book, I would still know that this is true. My heart tells me that my children can die for another, but they cannot kill without becoming their own enemy. There are more ways than one to be dead.

Fra antalogien Women Against Military Madness and Women Poets of the Twin Cities, 1994 (US $10). WAMM, 310 E. 38th St., Suite 225, Minneapolis, Minnesonta, USA.