This Moment

For this moment my sons sleep
sleeping as men do
driving down, greedily,
into their dreams.

For this moment
they have survived a day of life.
I know the oldest will have wrapped one leg with twisted sheets
and his brother’s chin will lift
as if to feel
a warm rain on his face.

I imagine the sky flares and shadows
the sirens and the screams.
Tonight other mothers’ sons are bleeding
as my sons wend softly toward dawn.

Author: Laura Wisniewski

Laura Wisniewski is a poet and Yoga therapist. She lives in a small town in Vermont among family and friends. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ithaca Women’s Anthology, DownStreet Magazine, Hunger Mountain and Canary.

3 thoughts on “This Moment”

  1. I wrote these poems in response to the way our commitment to ‘normal’ life here in this country denies the horror of the wars we are waging. Our loved ones are being killed and maimed… and are killing and maiming ‘over there.’ I believe that when, as a society, we don’t own the suffering generated by our own wars, guilt and anxiety begin to underlie our daily lives.

  2. We are fortunate as individuals, but we suffer monstrously as a species, because it is so easy to go through the day without even remembering that many other people and their children are suffering at every moment. This poem, in its simplicity and clarity, reminds me of Norman Rockwell’s WWII painting, “Freedom from Fear.”

    The editors of the New York Daily News and other American media demonstrate in their selection of stories to emphasize that most people prefer to read not about vast suffering, but about individual crimes. Not about the calculated violences of some governments and groups, but the bizarre or comical crime of some deranged, hapless, or impulsive individual. In “This Moment,” as in life, we have a palpable sense of ourselves (here, a parent and two sons), and only a generalized sense of war victims elsewhere.

    While my own taste is generally for poems that do not sum themselves up at the end, “This Moment” does what some poets say a poem must do, report a moment of the poet’s awareness.

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