Oil Stained Ashes

A letter arrived the other night.
Mandy had died on foreign soil
fighting for rich men’s oil.
Her unit returns today.
I placed the blame at the feet
of the liars of liberation.
I had to see her absence for myself.
I paced the space of victims that time
had left to bleed
on the field of wasted years.
My eyes scanned the returning soldiers.
But her face I didn’t see.
The war concluded,
and soldiers departed the plane.
But in their icy stares,
my heart broke and swept forgiveness
under the rug for
those embracing their loved ones.
I dropped my gaze to her picture.
I’ve wanted this picture
almost more than anything I know,
except for Mandy herself.
Thinly veiled memories and her ashes
slipped through my fingers
along the shore as I breathed the last of us.
The battle of my life is knowing
Mandy’s never coming home.

Twitter – @AC0040

(© 2023 AC)

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