Shadow

Is war always a surprise?

In 1910, could mothers tell not to love their sons too well?
Or in 1933,
when small child sat on mother’s knee,
Or when she held a tiny hand, could she sense that war was planned?

And, if I felt that dreadful fear, would I hold that child more dear?
Or would I try to steel my heart?

Can one prepare
to rip
apart?

When once were children, could they tell
that one day they would smell the smell
Of human rot
In human hell?

In hindsight, when the few look back, is there a shadow
Long
And black
On memories of summer days?
Less innocence in childhood plays?

As news got bleak
And bleaker still,
And mankind warped to mankind’s will,
Were there hints
Behind the lies?

Or is WAR always a surprise?

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