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The green shell of the tank clanks and rattles as it travels through the desert.
The driver is large with a smile on his lips, while three men in the back joke and laugh.
The man in the passenger’s seat is not laughing; he won’t even crack a smile;
He is looking out to the dust and sand, letting his thoughts break and scatter.
The only thing he does to let the world know he is attentive is when
He removes his cigarette from his lips, lets the smoke pour out
And closes his eyes. His dog tags are visible, blood type AB,
Religion, Christianity, Name is Chris and the rest is covered in the shadow of his neck.
Their day wares on, sometimes leading to shouts of disturbance
Or in some situations, tangles of wire that must be snipped. But they return the same as they started,
Alone in the desert. Then as the sun melts into the crescent of the earth, the day ends as scheduled.
Day 35 broke open and the mail arrives, a large bulky bag full of beautiful words.
The letters are distributed out; Chris gets a single letter from his wife, his love
After reading he silently folds the letter and places it in a shoe box, then he tucks it away
Under his metal bed. As he departs the room, the droplets of tears were left to dry in the sand.
Day 37 blooms cool for a change, with a chill growing in the bones.
The dry ocean of sand is settled and lies still on the ground.
Chris and his men spend the day walking through the sandy streets in Iraq.
Trash bags, old newspapers and crumbled paper is scattered everywhere.
Then a static voice is heard from the black radio, a voice of panic and urgency.
Running, ragged breathing, the heat soaking in,
Then they arrive to the panic station, the explosive situation.
The orders are clear,
Take out the house and the civilians inside. Chris then hears a cry, a child’s.
Disobeying orders he runs into the house, his men shouting hysterically,
Tearing at their throat and straining their lungs.
Inside the child is screaming, alone in a sandy corner, his mother is crying,
Wrapping her head scarf closer to her shivering lips.
Chris grabs the child, holding him tightly to his chest.
Sunlight is then bringing the sweat beads from his forehead,
Suddenly gun fire comes from a distant roof top and penetrates his camouflage body,
Spraying blood on the sand. The child falls from Chris’ body and unto the ground.
Slowly the divine soldier falls to his knees, then to his side. Now in the dust,
He reaches in his pocket and pulls out a small piece of paper. He looks at it once
Then looks up at the sky. Seconds pass then cold over comes; the waves of the sky
Becoming blurred. The child’s screams then slowly die as Chris closes his eye,
The photo of his baby son, still clutched in his hand.