by Shannon Peil
I didn’t agree with why he went
or that he was going back
but I could appreciate his stories
what he had gone through
the look in his eye that acknowledged he’d seen war
at times I empathized with all of it
and the closeness of death
but others I wanted to scream at him
tell him if no one agreed to go, none of this would have happened
so what came first, the soldier or the war?
what came before that
the patriotism or the fear?
and his friends that died
was it their fault they went
or mine that I didn’t?
we never mention any of this
but I have a feeling he knows I’m not necessarily afraid of death
I’m just terrified of dying for the wrong reasons
and for the sake of friendship we talk of anything else we can think of.
Strain was originally published by The Panulaan Review