He wets his bed at night and in the morning

runs to the junction to throw stones. What

did he eat for breakfast? Who washes his clothes

when he comes home at dusk full of dust and the sight

of his friends (from the same bench at school)

fallen in blood? Behind him his uncles

are urging him on and shooting over his head

at soldiers still boys themselves. In the kitchen Mother

wrings her hands and takes comfort in the fact

that her child is her savior, alive or dead.

I too dream of you every night, child,

small and scrappy and hard to control,

determined to change the direction of generations,

full of disdain for the days just gone by,

sure you can make it by the force of your anger.

I dream of you not as your foe, but as one

who has heard screams like yours in the night

and do not want to reassure you with dreams of paradise

for martyrs, as one who has grown up with my own

enemies and bogeymen, have known children

holding up their hands at rifle point on the streets,

walk every day with brothers and sisters

who died before I was born.

And in my dreams I hold you and feed you and read you

a fairy tale, a bedtime story, still believing I can keep your fears

from growing up true, teaching you gently

from your folklore and mine, tucking you in

and promising to wake you

with a new morning.