by Carrie George
Everything has symmetry
before wartime. Children playing
under mirror-veined leaves,
skinned knees stamping Rorschach blood
on pavement. We wear gold,
we craft fire, we smelt iron, we birth steel.
The women have three sides:
silent mothers, red-lipped, coy—
their triangled bodies stomp
through fate, slow stitch chevron
across army foundations. Emerald vine
deepens at war’s frosted root.
Mothers chop carrots,
salt water, wield wood spoons.
Wives curl scarlet hair,
tumble tired secrets on collar bones.
Girls bloom peach stripes,
weave tangerine leaves under fire.
Boys and men
remember grass, write letters back home,
dream sky, tessellate clouds,
puncture open wounds.
His skin sheds green dust
as the mile-far mother tends to the ashes.
Together, they palm a rough granite
and weep into a stained-yellow looking glass,
both wondering what words elders use
to speak of gray