I am a casualty of war,
A battle I should have been fighting
Except I didn’t know.

Those really were bombs falling.
But you turned the music up loud
And led me in a dance
Until all I could hear was my heart pounding.

Until all I could feel was my heart exploding.

Collateral damage blooms daily,
Poppies that bring no sleep or trance,
Only remembrance.

I hate the flowers in my hand
(the only bouquet you ever gave me)
And I’d give them back
If I could:

Doubt of everything I hear.
Suspicion of a smile.
Bitterness poisoning hope.
Despair dogging joy.
Fear of touch.
Terror of trust.
Regret of every. single. moment.

Day after day after day, I pick them,
Trying to turn red fields green again
By cutting down what you planted here:
Black-hearted blossoms
As far as I can see.

Day after day after day, there are more,
Green fields bleeding red again,
Like nothing I did mattered

(And it didn’t)

But I gather and lay them on
The unmarked grave where I suspect
You buried us.
Mine are the only flowers there.

Either I am the only one that mourns
Or this grave is of some other casualty
Of some other war.
And I am not sure it matters anymore.

~Melody Wingfield, 2015


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