Ms. Tara would try to impart on us
that raw emotion runs counter
to the calm needed while rushing
around. Take a moment, commune
with your thoughts, don’t let terror
win the war for your psyche.
Growing up we feared them Russians,
communists with nuclear weapons,
Presidents warning us duck and cover.
Now there’s a tear in my thinking,
moment that stinks like raw fish
rotting. I’m rushing round signing
forms and commuting, the bills
pile up and terror overwhelms me.
They want the war to be a personal
thing, but allies them Russians,
them Chinese Communists, visits
and dinners with foreign Presidents.
My upbringing shifts like tar
of thinking, dangers and benefits of raw
eggs and cholesterol rushing through
my system, I commune with stockcar
drivers who stare down terror,
declare wars on Sunday;
Golf, Football, Russian Dead Lift.
Where now are those communists
you warned us of Mr. President.
On my daughter’s face, a tear
when the ball misses the rawhide
mitt, and I come rushing over
to check the bump, commune
and commiserate, the terror
on her face. Inside me a war
of wanting her to not fear, not Russians,
not Communists, not small white pellets.
Someday, she could be President.
We named her Tara, to honor
that office, the raw determination
that comes from rushing into battle.
We wanted to communicate that
terror should never rule, that the inner
war is one against your own boredom,
your inertia, the rust that grows up
by acceptance, by commuting
one’s goals to better fit precedent.
After her birth, after the first kiss, a tear
grew up in my heart, a raw burning
just above the rushing blood.
With her small eyes communicating
exhaustion, her terror
for the journey, for the war ahead,
the love of Russian men in college,
her conversions to and from Communist,
President of the campus socialists.
She went to study tort law, we thought
her raw passion played well
in the courtroom, rushing in front
of witnesses, communing with the jury,
able to read understanding and terror
on each face, a safe battle, a controlled war,
(nothing like the face of Russians
when I was her age, fear of communists),
merely reading and rereading precedents.
Tara called once a week, all through
college, she was honest and raw,
would talk of rushing through classes,
communing with students to study,
shared her newest loves and terrors.
But she told us nothing of the war
she was fighting, blood rushing
from her nose at night, combat
she was preparing to present.
Ms. Tara must be looking down
now, seeing a rare light
rushing into her world, how vital
the advice she communicated
to us, the terror she calmed,
the tools passed us for our wars.
It was never them Russians
to be feared, nor them communists,
nor our series of ballsy Presidents.
No, the terror I carry with me,
war in the recesses of my heart
has forgiven Russians, believes
communists who can afford weapons
should take precedent. I care only for
Tara, for the wonder of a love
cut open and raw, flood
of emotions gushing
each moment we’d commune.
I carry a torch for my daughter,
who lived life raw,
rushing into battle
communed with soldiers,
who showed no terror,
flinched at no war,
feared and loved russians,
loved and feared communists,
went for her President.
Tara, dead on the field.
My heart is raw. I am rushing
towards you asleep
on the commune. There is
indeed terror, but it is not
losing a war, not with Russians,
not with Communists. But losing,
and also losing her.