On a backdrop of war and tyranny the laughter of a child slips through to the aging cracks of my consciousness. With brown eyes bulging out, head tilt back, and the tip of her tongue pressed up against her nose she burst forth with magical energy that sent shocks of life back into bones I not so long ago thought crushed.
There was a war raging, hadn’t she heard?
In her blue dress and pigtails she danced on mortared soil. Her stage and curtains market by the yellow sheets of her mother’s once fine house hanging from wires. And though I was not one of them, my desert tanned skin pale to their milk chocolate complexion, so careful were they to tend my wounds that every kiss that girl placed on my hand, my forehead made each scar worth the burden it carried when it was earned.
If ever, in my years to come, I wonder why I fought; if ever, in those years ahead, I miss my limbs too much, I will remember her song as she collected burnt flowers and the sweetness which followed when she would bow her head.