(Inspired by 'A monument to war', sculpture by Kathe Kollwitz, Berlin)
He'd hated her old handbag
and how she carried it.
He'd idle behind,
watching her shoulders
move solidly through public streets
carrying the bag
he'd given her in childhood.
He then learnt to walk in front,
and the impossibility of being man and son,
so he chose man
and avoided her gaze,
but at night stayed awake
in ease of darkness
to hear her private singing from the bathroom:
her smooth notes skimming water
to steal under closed doors
then find him, open-eyed and loving.
One thousand degree fires turned solid bronze to liquid
which, bubbling and thick with resistance,
was emptied into Kollwitz's mould
then clasped shut,
for airless weeks.
Bronze settled, quietened and cooled
a grown man
enfolded in his mother's full embrace
his head angled backwards,
smooth neck reflecting the sky,
long legs spilling effortlessly
to the angry earth.
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