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,
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:
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