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Waiting and Weaving

One for each son, she weaves the long dried leaves,

twisting the onions with string as she grieves,

her scarred, gnarled fingers resisting the years -

years that have gone and to come with her fears.

Deftly she smoothes the crisp, parchment skins,

teases the fragments away on the winds.

She hangs the onions then high in the shade,

wonders the price next day she’ll be paid.

Below her, the fields her sons ploughed to gold,

now dreaded to dust by dryness and cold.

Beyond them, the blue deceiving of sea  

that lured them to war, as if to be free.

No one can tell her if they will return

to comfort her age, relieve her concern.

Centuries she’s waited for news far from home,

sons fighting in Kiev, Kabal and Rome.

She’s sat through sieges, the rawness of war

in Stalingrad, Troy, Baghdad and Warsaw.

She’s known the sharpness of shrapnel on bone,

the burning of dreams to waste rubbled stone.

Yet still she keeps waiting, yearning for peace,

for words to turn weapons and make the wars cease.

And still she keeps weaving, strives to endure

in Mali and Gaza, Kashmir, Darfur,

waiting and weaving with love for each son,

her knuckles buckled through wars never won.