This Is Just a Dream
Samantha Willis

It was two weeks after the day she turned eighteen
I will go through pain. Sleepless nights.
I will support your decision. Your career.
I will honor your commitment.

She had his box of letters in the passenger seat
I will understand why you’re quiet. Short. 
I will accept secrets. Lies. Silence.
I will sacrifice myself.

She heard the trumpets from the military band
I will send you what you need. What you want. What I can.
I will have to be strong. Alone. Scared.
I will never have it worse.

I was counting on forever, now I’ll never know
You will always love me. Miss me. 
You will remember your friends. Family. Life.
You will honor your commitment.

And then the guns rang one last shot, and it felt like a bullet in her heart
You will learn to shoot. Move. Kill.
You will fight because you have to. You want to. You can.
You will sacrifice your life.

This can’t be happening to me
You will be ready for war. For death.
You will be known as a patriot. A soldier. A hero.
You will always have it worse.