This is not war. I am not
a grieving mother. There is nothing
for me to reconcile. The history
I learned is an unbroken narrative
of hope, not a story told in bloody pictographs,
the graffiti of despair. Tell me about progress
and I will show you how simple it is
to turn aside, sated, our bellies bloated
by promises. Our gratitude is rancid
with guilt, and still we feast on the dead.
Loss is bleak anger in black faces, other
faces, other lives. It does not touch us. We
are immune. We deserve this fortunate
geography, zip codes like lucky lottery numbers.
How simple to cash in our winnings
and conveniently forget who owns the game.
I clutch my ticket in a death grip. There is nothing for me
to reconcile. I am not a grieving mother.
This is not war.
--LJ Cohen, 12/24/14