An Ode to Mongo of Shrek 2
Innocence washed away, scalded
by men who don’t know
your name or age.
Men whose faces are
some of the first faces
you’ve ever seen.
You bear scars on your skin
as birthmarks. Each one
a tally for a minute of life.
You were born into violence
bred to cry power against those stronger
than you. You learned a battle cry
before first words, a hymn of protest.
You spoke a language meant for war
at an age meant to learn love.
Not everyone can be so lucky.
No one thought of the consequences
what it means to bear life in times of war,
to throw someone out of the oven
and into the flames.
It’s easy to stomach someone dying
when it’s not their death to bear;
it’s just like systems of power
to cut middle men out to keep
You were born to expedite the process,
left lying in the water like Ophelia.
No flowers to adorn your crown,
only the sunken gumdrop buttons
mistaken for rocks.
Your skin dissolved into the stream
as dirt. Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust. We’re all buried in the end.
The song of unsung heroes is the hardest to tell.
It’s strange, you’d expect
it to piece itself together, each word
after the other, but every letter is scattered
like crumbs across the floor.
Fragmented with no clue of where to start.