Mothers of Heroes

What mother wants
her son as a monument,
the rider of a stallion with
both front legs raised,
displaying a plague
that no one reads anymore?

What mother wants
her daughter as a tweetstorm,

thousands of brisk words
and sentences that beg,
plea, and demand
a freedom that never arrives?

What mother wants
her child resting unmarked,
buried with all the other nameless
in unhallowed ground that eventually
gets used as a parking lot?

What mother wants
to carry that much sadness
and claim that it’s pride, say that honor
can supersede the memory
of baby-fine hair, tiny snores,
and all of those silly giggles?

None of them.
It is simply what we do.

Sitting and Talking with Archimedes

I couldn’t build a bench
for conversation
out of memories’ planks and boulders.
My clothes snagged on exposed, rusty nails.
My muscles bruised and grew purple.
So I stand here, the heel
of my left foot worn so far sideways
that my ankle tips and my eyes
watering incessantly from pollen.
My wanky right foot kicks
at the fulcrum like a soccer ball.
An hour I explain to myself. A full hour
to listen to words I had the chance to hear
when they were said the first time.
An hour. If I can only leverage
this splintered branch
underneath the world.

(Note: Based on the familiar meme:
If you could spend one hour
sitting on this bench
in conversation with someone,
who would it be? )