This is a fragile thing.

This belly full of a musketballs.

Bleed your blue and grey,
but don’t forget your brother’s knife
the one your father gave him.

Snap the fragile edge
against your throat

Mother, won’t you tend this wound,
stitch the ragged ends together
the suture is a chasm
the chasm is a scalpel cut
and I don’t remember the surgeon’s name

but I remember your brother’s knife,
I remember your brother’s wife
and the child they stitched
this family with.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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