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There is nothing civil about this perdition that shackles me
days on and off the battle field churn slowly like years
entrenched under this quivering canopy
nothing is sturdy in this wretched landscape
Outside, the once green prairie grass is engulfed by blood mud
inside, the strained voices of other nurses
and moaning of patients
blend into one
A loathsome symphony of pain
coming in and out of my perception
as distant cannons and nearing bullets
drum the sky, shaking out the stars each night
Arms flailing without their rightful bodies
legs torn, detached from their home
I stitch up what I can and cut off what I can not
just a few drops of whisky remain
Those arriving in a moment's notice
will clamp down their pain with a wooden spoon
death does not differentiate
between North and South
The smell of blood is thick, wreaking of iron
my sterilizing bucket, murky with tissue and blood
even the serrated saw seems to be dulling
this war lingers on beyond my contempt of it
I loathe it and the price of freedom
And what of the wedding bands on amputated arms?
The letters stuffed in the pant pockets of amputated legs?
Where do I put these sacred casualties of war?
No hallowed ground has been consecrated for such bereavement
What will two thousand headstones look like?
as the stains continue to layer on my tattered uniform
I meld into these soldiers that lay in front of me
We become each other's
I, their sister, mother, friend
I am the last sight upon which they gaze for this lifetime
and as the final moment nears
rapid blinking commences, mostly in disbelief
Some will miss the love of their lives, family, friends
others will miss nothing
for them, I am their only hope and witness and they are mine
as my exhausted candle writes away each starry night
corresponding back to the pile of letters that remain
*I wrote this years ago and it resurfaces every time I think of war...and holidays with war...is this what freedom was fought for??? ....most recently, I am saddened to see the tragedy in Conn. I pray for the families that have been torn apart and for the pain that must have consumed the perpetrator to have committed such an act..but praying doesn't bring the dead back as my Sensei says...that peaceful choices are the way to a peaceful future...so I ask you this, can we let this tragedy serve to be more mindful of our fellow human beings so that our energy can be a positive impact even on strangers....there is nothing we can do about the choices people make...and mental illness is a serious issue...nevertheless, I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, some of these tragedies can be avoided if these pained people just had a sense of acceptance and belonging...I don't have the answers, I am simply saddened by this tragedy...and though I know there are millions of positive things happening everyday, the human loss in Conn. is massive because in addition to the loss of life, their is a silent tragedy of the loss of innocence and childhood for hundreds of children ...I am always hopeful for humanity so I guess it comes down to choices...For God's sake!!!! THIS is not the freedom, soldiers have given their lives for...I'd like to think the human condition has evolved through the ages, but such tragedies show differently....peace and happiness is an inner choice but we all have a role in our journey as fellow humans...I once read that one of the ways the Dali Lama meditates is through breathing in the pains of this world and breathing them out...in effect he uses himself as a human filter realizing that he can not change the behavior/choices of people but that he can indeed do his part to create positive energy in this world...if nothing else...Can we all breathe together in peace today?...breathe positive energy into the world? ...as these sweet souls make their journey beyond our world, perhaps our prayers/positive energy can help that journey towards the Light?