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Watch your body, knowing what it wants and which way to go.

Link arms and feel yourself expand to a being with hundreds of legs and hundreds of arms.

A millipede of moms.

A force of nature no less awesome and beautiful than a thunderstorm,

     dawn breaking, a comet.

Swaying gently. Moving forward.

Making way in occupied territory.

Chanting the power of truth, the power of love.

One mom is all moms.

Every womb carried you. Every womb birthed you.

Your stunning phalanx of surrogates stands for you, before you, with you.

The bullies come on schedule.

Predictable in their fear and rage.

Strip them of their armaments and their true nature is revealed.

Wounded, sad, hurt little boys.

Little boys needing their moms as much as those you protect.

Little boys orphaned early.

Pushed out of mom’s warm embrace.

Shamed. Ridiculed. Abused.

They learned their lessons well.

Cruelty 101.

A.P. Misogyny.

The Win-at-all-costs-and-don’t-ask-questions sessions.

The Mask-your-feelings ops manual.

Cats suffered at their hands. Siblings.

Maybe their own lovers and children.

You make a perfect target in your bumblebee t-shirt and plywood shield.

Your bike helmet and hockey stick. Your earnest camaraderie and high ideals.

You are an enigma.

How did you not learn this dog eat dog dance?

They have more in common with the few ignitors of chaos than with you.

The sparks of chaos give them permission to unleash their anger.

Their bullets and tear gas, awful enough, are no match for their volcanos of rage.

Spewing a toxic brew of hate and fear.

Of self loathing and desperate, conflicted confusion.

Flowers in the face, the necessary trigger.

This is not ideological struggle.

This is the exploitation of collective trauma spreading viral wings randomly in revenge.

I hurt because I hurt.

I wound because I am wounded.

I desperately enforce control because I am so out of control.

I am the mercenary of a murdered soul.

I am the hellbent hyper-masculine slave doing its masters bidding.

I cannot be free and can not allow you to be free.

My manacles are money and power.

My broken heart is wrapped in rags and buried in a grave of grief impossible to reveal.

I’m just doing my job. Following orders.

Being a good boy so mommy will love me. So daddy will see me, respect me. Finally.

Where are your wives and mothers? Your grandmothers?

Why aren’t they grabbing you by the ears and shouting, “NO!”

Fourteen generations of epigenetic terror live in your bodies.

Lifetimes of dis-ease and disasters rattle around in your cages.

Hope is suffocated in the nest.

One tear is all that’s needed to begin to break the bonds.

One sliver of doubt can send up shoots through the concrete encasing you.

One relentless question can begin to dismantle the edifice of entitlement.

One compassionate gaze can crumble your crucible.

Loving the illusive enemy is the hardest tour of duty.

See the scared little boys with their bayonets of cruelty hiding behind the macho monsters.

Flip the script.

Whatever it is they expect of you, do the opposite.

Where they expect hate, disdain, pushback, embrace them with tenderness.

Where they invite violence, smother them in peace.

Where they expect judgment, offer understanding.

Our sons have lost their way.

They are addicted to power and violence.

All we have to offer is the slow, hard road of recovery, the return to the garden of love.

© Joanne Lee 2020

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