the geography of heartbreak, a poem … in all the years of recorded history only 248 have seen no wars


a dove’s eye view is an ugly view
of the geography of heartbreak, of
smothered hope and broken children

sadly we watch their unrestrained
curls burst into a stormy cumulus,
while their dislocation wears a path
cut by tiny feet in forced march
alongside a wholly damaged trust

“The derivative effects of exposure to war-related stressors on the developing child are far-ranging and affect the elaboration and consolidation of personality structures, identity formation, adaptive and coping mechanisms, internalized standards of right and wrong, intrinsic mechanisms for modulating aggressive impulses, the habitual mode of relating to others in addition to having enduring neurobiological consequences . . .. “ Psychological Effects of War and Terrorism on Children

That report also states that in the “3,421 years of recorded history” only 248 have seen no wars. So, we are continually wounding little souls who are in effect then turned into potential time-bombs. No wonder we’ve been unable to get out from under, even in the 21st Century.

See also Joanna Santa Barbara’s Impact of War on Children and Imperative to End War, which discusses primary prevention (ways to end war), secondary prevention (ways to make the experience of war less damaging), and tietiary prevention (ways to rehabilitate children who have been traumatized by exposure to the death, violence, separation and other impacts of war).

© 2017, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; mourning dove by Octavio Tellis via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 license