Alive

The breeze came with the footsteps of the enemy
Upon dry vegetation of the south-east, his head
And shoes burned under the morning sun, and he
Heard their guns cock before their fingers held
Between the steel and sweat in a very bad dream
He saw his friends beneath a hail of imaginary
Bullets, he saw the top of all their heads they gleam
Under the heat of the sun the blood curdled quickly
It smudged the sleeve of his shirt a brush of black
On green, the grass soft and hot against his back.

Gunfire teased the air above him, his face to the sun
Blinded and one ear broken by the sound of a single
Shrapnel that found its way to his neck and into one
Grinding tooth, it kept him from closing his eyes until
The cackle of indirect fire came from two kilometres
Away, but sleep would never come because of the pain
Because of faint jeering, his enemies, because of sputters
Of gun fire in each face nearer and nearer and again
And again he gasped until the last sniper fire finally scared
Them away and a chicken came upon him and pecked.

Fatima Lasay, San Roque
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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