Mauser “black widow” pistol
Woke to a pink sky
that quickly turned to steel.
Steel, the color of worn bluing
on a World War II Mauser at the gun show.
How many deceiving pink sunrises
did that pistol witness?
Cold, snowy, hungry mornings
when a young man holding that weapon
wondered if this was his last sunrise,
wondered if he would take away
all the sunrises of other young men.
He held this gun of security and death close to his body,
this gun of hard steel
with named bullets in its fiery belly
American names, French names, Soviet names, British names.
And those young soldiers woke grasping pistols
aimed at the young German’s heart.
Seven decades later, I look at that pistol,
feeling sorrow, feeling the loss it reaped,
thinking in war guns kill only good guys,
kill young men who didn’t start the war,
who just did their “duty” and fought each other.
Now the black widow Mauser
lays in a case at a gun show,
History for sale
and a chance to remember
that history doesn’t have to repeat.