Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
An Army of One

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Whenever I see a boy with a stick
I think of you, four years old, yellow
binoculars on a string around your neck,
a plastic dagger tucked in your elastic-waist
jeans, a quiver of suction-cupped arrows
strapped across your back. As we hiked,

you marshalled munitions. Blades of dried
leaves dangled off one whole branch
you dragged, your stutter of footprints
raked clean. A stick, stripped of bark,
fit in your hand like a pistol,
the trigger bald as bone.

Your gaze steadily skimmed the ground
littered with weapons, the grasslands cleaved
by wind or a possible slither of snipers.
And I wondered who you fought
and who you sought
to protect.


Lora Keller’s finest treasure is her mother’s green-keyed Smith-Corona where she typed her early poems. Since she recommitted to poetry after a long business career, dozens of her poems have been published. When Lora isn’t writing poetry, she runs two small Milwaukee businesses.


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