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The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War


That was the summer he rappelled
down mountains on rope

that from a distance looked thin
as the dragline of a spider,

barely visible, the tension
he descended

into the made-up
state of Pineland

with soldiers from his class.
They started with a rabbit,

and since my son was the only one
who’d never hunted,

he went first. He described it:
moonlight, the softness

of fur, another pulse
against his chest.

The trainer showed him
how to rock the rabbit

like a baby in his arms,
faster and faster,

until every sinew surrendered
and he smashed its head into a tree.

They make a little squeaking sound,
he said. They cry.

He drove as he told me:
You said you wanted to know.

I didn’t ask how he felt.
Maybe I should have,

but I was biting
off the skin from my lips,

looking out
beyond the glittering line

of traffic flying
past us in the dark.

The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War
by by Frances Richey

  • Genres: Nonfiction
  • hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0670019615
  • ISBN-13: 9780670019618