Before the treaded wheels splintered down the last of the fence posts,
the one with the grease in the creases of his hands smiled at me as he pulled up his pants.
"Raise my kid right," he said in his heavy accent before hauling himself up,
graceful as an acrobat,
onto the turret where he sat like a sultan as the thing began to move.
Where the hollyhocks had been, there were now trenches of churned-up earth.
It will be easier to bury my dog, the herder,
who they shot as casually as waving across the field to a neighbor.
I think my wrist is broken.
I can't see out of my left eye, but perhaps it is only the blood drying over it.
Years from now, in another country,
a graceful child will swing himself up the bars of a playground castle,
waving to me from the top before his proud smile fades.
He will ask me why I'm crying, and it will only be half a lie
when I answer that it is because of him and my gratitude
that God has blessed me with such a son.
Then he will smile again and cross his arms,
looking out across the schoolyard like a sultan,
the very image of his father
and the great things that men create from their most casual of actions.
Please. Please. Can't we stop killing each other?