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Summer 2006 Edition
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Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones
Location: Northern California

Patricia Wellingham-Jones, a former psychology researcher and writer/editor, is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and assistant editor of Underground Window. Her work is published in numerous anthologies, journals, and Internet magazines, including HazMat Review, Red River Review, Rattlesnake Review, Phoebe, A Room of Her Own, The Raintown Review, Ink & Ashes, and Niederngasse. Recent chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer (PWJ Publishing), Hormone Stew (Snark Publishing), and Voices on the Land (Rattlesnake Press). Her website is http://www.wellinghamjones.com.

The Waste

Babies get killed in wars.
          --The 365 Project, 3/15/03

A seed planted in passion—
or after a fight,
or an all-night drunk,
or forced into an unwilling body
at the point of a knife—
that seed takes 9 long months
to germinate.

The bud that pushes forth
into air takes 18 years
of heart-stopping joy,
occasional tears,
many frowns, frequent
tearings of hair
to reach what the law
calls maturity.

The labor involved
in getting this human fruit
to harvest is immense.
At any stage in the process
things can go wrong.

The most wrong of these
is war.

Spears, arrows, sabers,
Gatling guns, torpedoes,
today’s computer-guided missiles
destroying palaces in the sand
all leave fields of rotting bodies
in their wake.

Each human demolished in battle
was some woman’s baby.

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