Yesterday across my television screen,

far flung pellets and bodies

launched like rockets

into abandoned fields of hidden soldiers

as body parts sprinkle midnight quarters.

Baby faces on adult bodies

lurk in distant places,

far from confused brides,

laden with blossomed bellies

and cryptic kids screaming in parks

decorated with unknown futures

as holsters hang loose,

weighed down by hollow revolvers

beside stomachs pushed against sandy fields.

Familiar fellas I know have done the same—

like my daughter’s friend,

years in Afghanistan

and this many moons later

still awakens in the night to torments,

mornings haunted by imaginary figures

tucked around city corners,

grasping memories of a service

which left him with a handicap

no pill can remove, nor time erase.

Today, a tear lands on my aged cheek

in yesterday’s vision

of my eighteen-year old nephew

who has chosen a parallel life—

off to military college with a zip loc bag

of toiletries, donned in green and black,

photos camouflaged in thorned bushes

as I wonder if he’ll ever return

or even remember our Saturday zoo dates

and laughing at the sloth

beside the sunbathing seals—

all seemingly trivial

as he clicks his heals

and loads the revolver to the snap

of politician whims who choose

death over life

in the name of false freedom.

Diana Raab, PhD, is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, and author of 10 books and is a contributor to numerous journals and anthologies. 

Her two latest books are, "Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life," and "Writing for Bliss: A Companion Journal." 

Her poetry chapbook, "An Imaginary Affair," is due out in 2022 with Finishing Line Press.

She blogs for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, Sixty and Me, Good Men Project, and The Wisdom Daily and is a frequent guest blogger for various other sites.