Soldier
Erica Smay

Desperately seeking another breath.
You reach, hand out, grasp dirt.
Roll side to side.
You may be running out of time.

Imagining a beautiful scene.
Abundant life, your child at peace.
People all around.
Not separated, not judging, engaged.
New world, giving hope.
You feel serenity coming to your body.

Sirens, blood, three . . . two . . .
Shock.
Awakening to the horror.

Boom.
Boom.
Rifle going off.
World in war, you barely holding on.
In the midst of chaos, that same calm.
Your kid will make it.
You take that final breath.

Silent room.