The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War

Overview

A heartwrenching and powerful memoir in verse from a mother grappling with the reality of her son at war in Iraq

Frances Richey's son, Ben, whom she raised by herself, graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1998. He became a Green Beret, and then went for two tours of duty in Iraq, often on missions that were so secret that he had to remain incommunicado from ...
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The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War

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Overview

A heartwrenching and powerful memoir in verse from a mother grappling with the reality of her son at war in Iraq

Frances Richey's son, Ben, whom she raised by herself, graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1998. He became a Green Beret, and then went for two tours of duty in Iraq, often on missions that were so secret that he had to remain incommunicado from everyone, including his mother.

The Warrior is an urgent and intensely personal exploration of what a mother is feeling as her only son goes off to war, as she says goodbye to him, misses him, prays for him, and waits for him to come home. At the book's heart lies a mother's love for her son-a son from whom she feels distant, both literally and metaphorically, for she is opposed to the war in Iraq, but nonetheless realizes that she needs to understand, support, and accept the choices her son has made in his life.

A poignant, accessible, and emotionally arresting book told in twenty-eight poems, The Warrior speaks to the world of those who wait while their loved ones are in combat or in dangerous circumstances. It is also concerned with the love and pain that constitute close relationships, in particular that between a mother and her son. Richey gives readers a window into a world they might not know, but a world that nonetheless touches all our lives. And The Warrior will bring comfort to those who have waited, and are waiting now. Whatever readers feel about the war, all will want to read this moving work for its power and the universal emotions of familial love it portrays with piercing insight.

About the Author
Frances Richey
was born in Williamson, West Virginia, and grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. After working in the business world for almost two decades, she left to teach yoga and write. She is the author of one previous collection of poetry, The Burning Point, which won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and was released in 2004.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Poet Frances Richey was born in West Virginia, went to college in Kentucky, and works in New York City. But she owes at least some of her impetus as a writer to her 33-year-old son's two tours in Iraq. "This is how I keep myself together," she says of her recent poems. "They tell him how I feel without my saying, 'I support you, but I'm scared you may never come home.' " This collection of verse by the winner of the White Pine Poetry Prize speaks for the families of all the troops who have served in Middle East war zones.
David Orr
The Warrior is the poetic equivalent of a movie like "The Shawshank Redemption": unsurprising and sentimental on the one hand, likable and competently constructed on the other. Those last two qualities, however, are enough to make this collection one of the best mass-market poetry books in years.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670019618
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/10/2008
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances Richey was born in Williamson, West Virginia and grew up in Charleston, WV. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. After working in the business world for almost two decades, she left to teach yoga and write. She is the author of one previous collection of poetry, The Burning Point, which won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and was released in 2004.

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Table of Contents

The Aztec Empire 3

The Barn Swallows 5

The Movers 7

Letters 10

The Book of Secrets 12

The Warrior 14

In a Time of War 18

Dream of the Lost Son 21

Kill School 25

Waiting 27

One Week Before Deployment 31

Packing 31

To the Helmet 33

His Gun 34

Sightseeing 37

I Had Promised Not to Cry 39

Inventory 40

Thetis 43

Mourning in Sadr City 47

Home on Leave 48

He Tell Each Story 51

School for Commandos 52

A Walk Through the Seventh Regiment Armory 54

Cab Ride to Chelsea 56

The Worst Thing 57

Christmas Dinner with My Son in Arlington Heights 58

E-Mail from a Secret Location in Iraq: Re: The Puppies 63

Time Out 66

The Powerlifter 67

Thor 69

Incommunicado 72

Collisions 74

Four Fragments from the Hall of the Madonnas 76

The Canal 78

Notes 81

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