by K. Eltinať

One bony finger drew lines in the ground
handed you a gun, a khaki uniform
A car that purred the way your wife did
Before rebels forced her, as you intruded homes.

That daughter who spoke only of horses
and kicked up dust, wrapping herself in curtains
the day you left, also vanished.
As did the agenda of the men you fought so hard for.

The year you made it home
you heard your wife pleading to God
before you felt the soil moist on your cheek,
welcoming tears.

Smiling in her uniform,
your daughter snaps her gum,
calls for an ambulance in a voice that loops.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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