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.