Mother at War

As the middle aged Iraqi woman had bidden farewell to her son that morning, he had lifted his chin and tightened his face, becoming a man before her eyes. Still, she could see the fear, the youthful pride mingled with anxiety, the tension in the shoulders.

Now, facing the American soldier who stared at her down the barrel of his gun, she saw the same look, the same self-conscious shoulders. They were so young, her son and this son of another woman. There must be a better way for boys to become men, she thought wearily.

“Would he like some tea?” she asked the interpreter gently. “No one but me lives here now.”

Copyright 2013 Loretta Miles Tollefson

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