Questioning the suspects

Watching the video for the thousandth time,
to see if you hesitated, even for a second,
I  ask, Tell me, how does one become a weapon?

How arcs a human like a speeding plane,
beyond flesh, but not beyond sound, outpacing
fear, desire, the upraised palm of compassion?

Were your hands steady on the controls?
Did you cry  out in ecstasy, or in pain?
Feeling the impact like bones sucked clean

was there an instant of wonder?
Was your mother in your thoughts?
(They say the dying always cry out for their mothers)

Or were you thinking of the mother behind you,
how she clutched her child to her chest
as you would clasp a bomb?

And your own mother, did she spend the day watching the sky,
waiting for word of your certain death?
Or did she cook all day, lips tightened against the memory

of your head cradled against her chest?
Perhaps her thoughts were bent on those still around her table?
That night, did she suckle you in her dreams,

and did you turn into a tiger at her breast?
Where were you then––not before,
tasting a last sweet syrup of coffee, nor later

in your version of heaven, but then,
at that first second of hereafter?
Did you see what you expected to see?

Was the One who caught you
cloaked in anger
or in tears?

[Glenda Bailey-Mershon]

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