a war whore remembers

Metallic memories billow
silver flashes in staccato formation
one after another
recollections rise from exile
through rebellion’s scar,
petulant,
insistent,
pulsing through thought’s ruins.

Metallic memories dart like bullets
whizzing raw channels into
flesh left bleeding.

Nothing fuses any more.
Everything is dubious.
Latch onto me,

shield me from those churning metal blades.

Brenda Warren 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
process notes
The Whistleblower is a film based on the experiences of a female cop from Nebraska. Kathryn Bolkovac served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia, and uncovered a sex-trafficking ring involving international aid workers, police officers, and government officials. I watched the movie last night, and heard the phrase “whores of war.” These war whores are girls.

I wrote my piece for The Sunday Whirl this week before I titled it. After reading it, I thought of the girls trafficked in Bosnia, and other places in our world. In many cases, they are abducted, sold, and then told they must “work off the debt.” What will their lives be like if they “earn” their freedom? What will they think of at 50? Can they ever work through the memory of being chained, filmed, and violated by men in power? The Whistleblower is whirling those girls through my head, and will for some time. We are lucky to have the lives that we do.

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21 thoughts on “a war whore remembers

  1. Brenda, I liked the poem. Your process notes only made the poem stronger. I was first struck by “Nothing fuses any more. / Everything is dubious.” Powerful lines – such a contrast between nothing and everything. I’m haunted by “thought’s ruins” – such a powerful and sad image.

    Richard

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  2. We call ourselves civillised beings and yet, we are so far from being civillised in so many ways. Nothing has changed since the beginning of time, sex sells. And many men (and some women) don’t care how they make their money, because it’s all about the money. Whereas the girls/women are scared for life in so very many ways.
    Powerful write Brenda. Raw, brutal and, sad because it’s still happening to so many girls in so many places.

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  3. I really like that second stanza.
    You got to wonder sometimes if the urge to cruelty might be one of those things that comes with the big brain. Maybe not. But overcoming it is what makes civilization.

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