When sons were young

Sibling competition getting ugly

Decided to spend a separate hour with each

Worked well, they got to choose what to do

One day my youngest

Wanted to draw

He drew a cannon

I covered it with flowers

He drew a ball shooting out

A few lines by me made a peace sign

In frustration he cried,

“You’re ruining everything!”


Shocked, I stopped the politics

Didn’t do pregnancy and labor

So my sons would one day go off to war

In the too-near future

Although their grandpas, cousins, uncles

Fought in Germany, Vietnam and the Gulf

Yet such an innocent game

As drawing together

Turned into a 6-year-old’s anger


Tucked away that picture

Still have it in my book of memories

Placed a blank piece of paper between us

Drew a cannon with balls shooting out

Into the infinite

(Resisted adding a rainbow and stars)

He was happy, I was happy that he was happy

Someday he would make a personal decision

I would support whatever it would be

But will never forget my 60s bumper sticker:

“War is not good for children and other living things…”

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CANNON OF PEACE, royalty free



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