Children as Weapons

by | 25 Jan 2021

A poem (or cautionary tale) for parents engaged in high-conflict divorce.

Now our marriage is spiralling, 

Spinning beyond our control

And we have wounded each other

Love-lost, vow-broken, ring-thrown.

First we used silence as weapons

Then we used words and then fists

The arms race was swift and impressive

Our hands are now empty: they twist

In the dust. 

We have thrown

Everything away but our anger

And still we have to keep fighting.

But there’s something we can do together:

Let’s use the children as weapons, 

Let’s use the children as bait,

Let’s keep each other’s memory

Hated and naked and shamed.

Let’s use the children as infantry, 

Let’s use the children as spies, 

Let’s bring them up with the Director’s cut

With spin and with spite and with lies.

Let’s use the children as weapons

Let’s use the children as snares

We’ll have plenty more years of reprisals

If we make our unhappiness theirs.

© Claire Kirwan

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