You are a person.
Living, standing next to me
You speak and gesture,
I don’t understand your language
But, interpreted or not
You probably talk about the same things
I do, same hopes that I have. The same thoughts
That I think, about your family and
Your job, what you’d like for dinner tonight
Or how great it feels to make someone laugh,
Warm sun on your face on a quiet spring afternoon
And the feeling inside when you catch a glimpse
Of that special girl and her eyes meet yours –
But you do not connect for me;
You are human, yes. I could’ve known
You forever sometime, but we’ve never met,
And we won’t again.
I am passing through your town just as
You are passing through my life.
A shot. A crash. Chaos as fire erupts
Seeking cover I turn left, you turn right –
And when all is said and done you lie motionless
Your pooled red blood and hollowed empty eyes –
Open, dulled, eyes they are but with nothing inside.
I want to hear you speak your language that
I don’t understand, but can’t care about now.
I poke you; You listlessly flop –
You are now just a thing.
Author’s Note: I had a specific image I wanted to use to accompany this piece of work, but I felt it far too graphic to publicly display here – despite my wanting to show readers the true brutal and harsh realities that was our war.