Collateral Damage

sharon-mccutcheon-AuPRHJe8Mhs-unsplash

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

 

“They’re collateral damage,” he said, and gestured toward the flash of news images across the screen. “It’s not anything personal against them.”

He shrugged as if his words explained all of what happened. Of what continues to take place.

“They never should’ve put themselves in this situation,” he added, perhaps because he’d perceived my incredulous stare as an invitation to explain further, or perhaps because someplace, somehow, he felt ashamed. That is, if he was capable of shame, which as the evening dragged on I found myself increasingly doubtful of.

I glanced at Brenda, whose dinner plate seems to have become her world. Her absconding only made me angrier, but the boulder in my throat allowed no sound. I shook my head.

“Well, they could’ve stayed where they were,” he retrieved a comb out of his pocket and proceeded to slick back his salt-and-pepper hair, and the outrageously incongruous act against the reality of utter misery, somehow released my breath.

“They are children!” I choked on the word, but the rest tumbled out behind it as if afraid to become lodged again. “They could not make the decision to stay. They had no choice where to be born. Or who they were born to, or whether or not to put themselves in any situations.”

He continued to groom himself with the comb and I fought the urge to grab his arms and toss away the thing, one of the many things, the children were denied.

“Their parents should’ve taken better care of them,” he added blandly.

I took in a deep breath. “Even if that was true, which it is not in the vast majority of the cases, how does that make it acceptable for others to deliberately traumatize these children further?”

He raised an eyebrow in disdain to signal that my upset was the overreaction. “If their parents stayed in their own countries,” he stated sedately, “instead of coming here, the children wouldn’t get locked up. It’s simple, really. If a person doesn’t want their kids to suffer, they should not do certain things.”

“So now we’re talking like the mafia? Threatening people with harm to their kids?”

“Calm down,” he drawled. “Now that people know their kids wouldn’t have it easy here, perhaps they’d think before they decide to make their kids into collateral damage. If they did as they were told and stayed wherever it was they belonged, none of this would have to happen.”

I inhaled and glared at his wife, the colleague whose silence at the face of cruelty made her increasingly less of a friend. Her eyes scanned the wall someplace not quite behind my head.

“So you approve of terrorizing children,” I stated, my fingers groping for my purse. Her birthday dinner or not. I was done. “This is exactly what mafia does.”

He actually cackled. “They’re the mafioso. It’s their fault if their kids are cold and wet and getting hurt. What did they expect, crumpets and tea?”

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS writing challenge: co-

 

Voice Of Song

Lady Liberty SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

There is no

Place,

No space,

Without

Voice.

 

If the trees of our soul

Fall

With no ears near

To hear,

Silence deafens

Roar into

Lore.

 

Be the voice

Of your song.

Let the air move

Through lungs

Via cords

To record:

You’re aboard.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Quadrille challenge: Voice

 

The Blues

TheBlues NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Stand up

To the dimming of

The light

By cruel

Injustice.

Be the lone voice

If you

Must.

Hold tall

Against the winds

That wish to

Break right

Into wrong

And form

Wrong

Into common practice.

Behold the skies

In blues

And clouded

Sorrow,

Even as you keep

Fighting for

Better today

And a just

Tomorrow.

 

 

 

For July Blues

 

 

Unworthy

three line tales, week 158: a border with a barbed wire fence

Photo: Robert Hickerson via Unsplash

 

They brought them in at dark, under the covers of secrecy and night.

Children, torn from loved ones, placed behind barbed wire, watched by burly guards.

“Your fault for coming,” they were told. “And now you’re too much work to reunite.”

 

 

For Three Line Tales

 

Bereft Of Hope

adult art conceptual dark

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

If you feel bereft of hope

In view of those who lead

Not by honor

But deceit;

Hold on to the voice of people

Rising

To relieve

Those who cherish false and greed

From the path of harm

They have conceived.

Be strong

Even as you are now

Understandably

Bereaved.

For there will be better days

Ahead

Where heart

Over current swamp,

Succeeds.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for August 5, 2018:

Bereft

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

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“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

Un-Pacified

Womens March instagram Onyvava

Instagram/@onyvava

 

One cannot pacify hatred

By fueling more hate,

Just as violence will not be calmed

Via harming.

Arguments aren’t settled

When truths are shut up,

Nor can peace be made by

The war-glorifying.

There is no equality

While oppression is sought

And brutality cannot

Bring on healing.

So rallies where ‘greatness’

Is clothed in cruel acts

Breed not power nor awe

But disdain,

As leadership’s hubris is paid

By the vulnerable

Again and again.

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for August 3, 2018:

Pacify

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

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Silent No More

Looking back DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

In the restless nights

They walked

Silent in the desert

Stalked

While the prowlers

Rose to halt

And turn hope

To anguished fault.

But we’ll silent be

No more

For those who had been harmed

Before.

And we will raise our voice

To show

That cruelty we will not

Let grow.

 

 

For dVerse Poets: Sounds of Silence

 

Freedom’s Curfew

liberty bell PA Photo by mbell1975 on flickr

Photo: mbell1975 on flickr

 

As a bell tolls

Come dark,

May its sound be a reminder

Of the toll

Exacted from those whose steps

Are hidden,

Whose freedoms are

Forsaken,

And whose voices

Are silenced,

For no fault

But being

Born

Into hardship

And fleeing

Danger zones.

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for July 28, 2018:

Curfew

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

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Route To Kaput

train junction SouthAfrica Pinterest CarryMills

Photo: Pinterest, Carrie Miles

 

 

Olden times come to rise

Where the heartless devise

Righteousness to brutalize

Those they dehumanize.

An unwise move, time shows

For a smart person knows

That even one group maligned

Cracks open fault lines

In a stroke that would put

A reign on path to kaput.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for June 26, 2018:

Kaput

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!