by pven123

(In respectful dedication to our unsung heroes.)

Yesterday —
I strode upon a wicked hollow,
Painted red with foreign names,
Yet I bore my shoulders back
With my brothers,
Chasing the wings of our tedious youth.

Today —
I stand alone, with arms outstretched
And eyes pleading every passerby:
You don’t see what I’ve seen
What I’m trying
So hard to shut out of my quaking mind.

Yesterday —
I felt our glory slip from my eyes,
As Mother Earth trembled beneath
As if trying to throw us off
In dark revenge
For turning her meadow into a morgue.

Today —
I sit along a busy sidewalk,
A worn cap between my fingers,
A voice similarly worn,
A knotted mane,
Shaking the red from the edge of my sight.

Today —  no, yesterday —
I hold the shotgun, taking aim,
I see him crumple, hold his breath,
Fingers upon the blooming wound —
Meeting my eyes
As nameless, he fades from existence.

Yesterday —
I killed a stranger.
Today —
I killed a stranger.
No, that was yesterday.
Yesterday he falls,
Today I watch.
I am no hero.

Today I see his eyes cloud over,
Today I see the brothers I buried
Yesterday, and I hear
The deafening thunder of thousands
Falling to their knees.

Today I reach out
And draw back,
Riddled with the thoughts
Of yesterday.