Parent's Weekend (Nuclear Explosions)

Bring on the parents! Here they come,
  those who conceived, adopted, raised
  neglected, nurtured you -

forging in a kiln of oh! such power
  the nuclear family bonds
  you say you want to rend
  yet fight to mend,

you who have witnessed nuclear explosions -
  seen the chain reactions,
  fallen ill from family fallout,
  fallings out,
  have fallen out of families,

been branded by the blasting
  of your nuclear family bombs,
  divorces, deaths, abuse, neglect,
  poor choices, sadness, moves

I do not wonder that you tremble
  nor wonder that you want to hide

Inside me, I carry red-hot grief and rage
  (huge she-bear grief;
  huge she-bear rage)

That God's own children,
  who rightfully deserve respect and love,
  have had to struggle with these
  hurts in learning life.

I have been ashamed of passing on these hurts,
  so lay no blame.
My body can't contain this flaming power
  without pain.

So please, dear parent of us all,
help me take this molten matter
and forge from it, not angry weapons,
but such tools
as anyone can use
who chooses lasting peace,
releasing threat of fall-out
from an all-out family war.

November, 1989
Kate Kerman

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