I meet a woman on the outskirts of the village searching the horizon for signs of her son; I can’t help but think back to my own mother and how she must have felt every time I answered the call to return to barracks.
You see when troubles come to a soldier he faces them with a sword in his hand, a comrade at his side, a healer at his back, and a vanward threat upon which to fixate all thought, fear and action.
For the mother, there is but fretful anguish. Adrift in perpetual suspense, she must bear the profound heartache that dulls all emotion to melancholy. Her trembling lips are ever set for sighs and cries to pass over, whilst she must endure an abrading anxiety that devours the spirit. Upon each false breath she hangs an unanswerable prayer, and a desperate pine to take action against her own imagination.
I would not wish a mother’s anguish upon my most hated foe.