This air is the air of an oven,
it is so deathly hot.
For days the sun has been crisping the microbes.
A boy has disappeared from the village.
2AM and the foothills of the Pyrénées
lit with light flashes between the dark spaces of trees,
foliage on foliage.
Sparks of light glitter the mountain sides.
Up here- mountains before us, village below us-
it’s like an ant farm, lines of lights
following the twists and turns between
row after row of houses
scaling slowly into the mountains
for the third consecutive night.
The day it happened,
we’d walked into the foothills,
No knowledge of how this life works,
Unaware of death,
awaiting his soul to keep.
A hysterical mother,
a bewildered father,
Begging for answers
about the unexpected leave.
we cry the same tears
and wash the same pains
but we are not one
and yet here we remain.
We met one night on a bus
because to training, it was for us.
We had both signed papers with words that said,
“I will protect my country, even ’till death.”
Through the shouts and the screams,
that persisted all day it seems,
my brother would smile and say,
“To me, it’s just another day.
I’m used to hollers and screams,
to being told nothing is what my life means.”
I would look at this man with a frown;
a brother from another town.
Then the day we became men.
Our families and honeys, greeted us then.
“My little boy is now a Soldier.”
wept my mother on my shoulder.
Why is it so hard to live with each other
We are all one, you’re my sister, my brother
When did we become so expendable and cheap
Why is life too hard to cherish and keep
I frankly couldn’t blame you if you turned your ears away
But while you know of all my doubt,
I ask you please to hear me out;
give me the time of day
You see, there’s been an accident, as if you didn’t know
My little girl is almost dead;
she’s in a coma and they’ve said
they’ll tie a tag around her toe
They brought her in by chopper just after half past nine
They chalked her out upon the tar,
gave her lots of CPR
to try and keep her hanging on the line
The vicar’s been; he held my hand and quietly had a word
He told me that I must be strong,
to talk to you, admit I’m wrong
and hope my voice is heard
He placed a cross upon her brow and whispered in her ear
He spoke in Latin, shut his eyes,
talked of how a body dies,
uttered words I didn’t want to hear
She’s lying there with tubes plugged into heart and chest and head
Golden hair surrounds her face,
her favourite doll stands by in case
she stays alive instead
I’m jealous of the rain
teardrops falling down
symbolizing my pain
wishing you were around.
I had neither time nor patience,
and this, I so relayed,
annoyance being the tone I used,
but still the stranger stayed.
I bid him sit, if stay he must,
offering him a chair,
this he declined, without a word,
but with a steely glare.
That chilled my bones to marrows core,
withering my very soul,