I cannot honor lies.
I cannot breathe praises of death.
I cannot take limbs
like those sold to children.
I am mother.
You are plastic in words.
We birth babies. They are flesh,
tears, needs, innocent hearts.
We have limbs.
We have children.
You are empty of mind. You say hero.
You say God. You paint the world
in red                   and leave the sun behind.
Behind this high wall, untouchable enemy,
mysterious evil, who created your answer,
molded your hero, demonized the child.
Life is life. Mother is mother.
Limbs lost and again you scream hero—
Hero, Hero, Hero.
You say the Earth. You say you own breath.
You say mine is yours.
I breathed life into this land, civilized presence,
gave trees to the sky.
We own life. The invisible enemy.
The flashing hero, painted in red,
dripping color into hollow ground.


12 thoughts on “Hero

  1. saintcharlotte says:

    Wonderful imagery, and the words, my God, the words and the rhythm left me breathless with emotions. This hero, this monster who dishonors mothers and children, and later they mask their horrible deeds by heaping praises upon praises on our children’s lifeless bodies — yes, such heroes exists, and the sad thing is, most men are blinded by the power and influence that these heroes wield …. Your poetry has given light to such an ugly truth that many of us ignore.

    • Kate Houck says:

      I agree. There is blindness to pain and suffering, though many are anxious to stand behind the violence that creates it. We must change the narrative giving voice to the victims, most often women and children. Thank you, Charlotte. The empathy expressed through your thoughtful words gives me hope for a better tomorrow…

  2. Kate Houck says:

    Reblogged this on Kate Houck, Poems and commented:

    Thank you, Neha and Michael, for coming together to make #PoetsForPeace possible. An amazing group of writers have shared their work on Neha’s blog. You can find the collaboration here and submit your work if you so desire.


    Below is my submission, a poem I wrote about a year ago to recognize the pain and the strength of mothers who lose children during war.

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