A Letter To My Son

To my son. 


My baby has blood on his hands, 

dripping red fingers

smeared across oceans and continents. 

Imperialism breeds imperialism

and the apple doesn't fall 

far from the tree. 

My boy, 

this empire runs in the family. 


My sweet child 

holds a flag in one hand and a gun in the other,

a cigarette hanging from the upturned corners

of a mouth that so closely resembles mine. 

I've kissed those rosy cheeks goodnight, 

and carried you over my shoulder

into the bedroom to tuck you in, 

read you a bedtime story and say, 

"May the sun never set on you

as it did on me."


My baby boy is the anti-hero.

You never played with toys, 

but moved straight to the real guns, 

the real tanks, 

the real army men with little plastic parachutes

thrown from the top of the staircase. 

You tell me that you can take care of yourself, 

and someday, 

you'll take care of me too. 


My gentle son

with tears rolling down your cheeks 

and a smile on your face. 

Silence the masses, 

kill them with kindness, 

tell them you love them 

with tear gas and police dogs. 

Swimming in both riches and blood, 

and somehow I've taught you that

violence means love. 

Shattered bones and broken knuckles, 


"Aren't you proud of me dad?

Aren't you proud?" 

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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