The sky is crisp and clear and blue,
His breath is on the air,
He silently walks through the street
With sunlight in his hair.
His eyes are cast down at his feet,
He hurries to get home,
Afraid to stop beside the park
With the blackened dome.
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.
In that smile is the love of God he says
And like a bolt of lightning I jerk up straight.
Shocked to my very core I am sickened.
‘Liar.’ I yearn to scream, ‘it is not as you say.
Behind that smile was abhorrence, fear and loathing.’
You are dead and now you are at peace
But what of me, the daughter you leave behind.
I am your flesh and blood, the one you were to protect
You allowed him, you knew and did but not stop him.
You forgave his exploitations by your omission
And in denial continued to smile at all around you.
‘Cause you’re castle made of ash
And I’m the flame who burned your throne.
You and I were meant to crash,
Find me, ember, smoke and bone.
One eye, a black button had come undone
His matted faux fur bleached from the sun
On school yard, playgrounds, and grandma’s front stair
With Ann, Mr. Buckles went everywhere