• Kelly J Massey

War, War-like, Warrior

What happens when you’re built

strong and sturdy

with a fiery temper that blows

off the peak of a dormant volcano.

The anger spilling out, running down,

its magmatic fingers reaching to burn,

to hurt in reaction to its being hurt.

What happens when other kids

are intimidated by your size, your strength.

You didn’t mean to grow this fast

this early.

But they all want you on their dodgeball team,

their basketball team.

You’re taller. You can hit harder.


What happens when you’re pouring through

a baby name book, looking for some kind of meaning.

Some answer to who you are as a person.

Kelly (Gaelic) war.

That fiery temper, that desperate reaction snaps

the book closed.

Screw that book.

Can a name define who we are?

What happens when you take

your temper to task,

as a blacksmith melts steel to make sword.

A blade to only be used when

you feel defenseless.

Is that when you move from war to war-like?

That’s what the new name book said.

What happens as you mature

along with your peers and they

catch up to you in height?

They don’t fear you anymore.

Not your size, not your temper.

They sense you keep it sheathed,

ever at the ready should it be needed.

They trust you.

What happens when you look

in a new name book,

not searching for just yourself,

but for your progeny.

Kelly (Gaelic) warrior.

A meaning, a defining to be proud of,

but you still name your child

Sage (Latin) wise one.

No one should go through

an internal war.

#poetry #warrior

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