Dreams Of Sand...
He awoke to heat and thirst and pain,
Not sure where he was in the silence,
Lying torn on burning sands,
Seeing the cloudless blue sky waver and shimmer.
Rolling over with a groan,
He shakily got his feet under him,
Unsteady and drenched in sweat that steamed away instantly.
He raised a hand to shield his eyes,
All the world was sand unbearably bright,
A scorpion crawled by nearly at his feet,
He licked his cracked and bleeding lips and remembered what it was,
Just in time jumping away.
Dizzy with confusion he turned around and followed his own footprints,
They led to a smoldering building in ruins,
An arm lay outstretched from under a shattered block of stone,
A child's arm by the look of it.
He remembered being a child once,
Playing with toy cars as his sister cradled her Barbie doll,
"I'm going home in a week" he thought,
Suddenly terrified at something he couldn't remember,
Maybe couldn't bear to remember.
It might happen again back home,
He suddenly knew this even though "what" was only a burning haze,
He knew he couldn't let "it" happen back home,
The tears burst into his eyes along with white hot rage,
Out-burning the sun as he saw a smoldering teddy bear near the arm.
He reached for the gun at his hip,
Pointed it at his face as he thought "I can't let this go back home,"
Flipping off the safety he started to squeeze,
Just like they'd squeeze the truth out of him in horrible ways,
If he let "it" get back home.
Just as he heard the final click before his angels were due,
He woke up in sweat drenched sheets,
Screaming incoherently as his wife looked at him with THAT look in her eyes,
The sickening animal fear that he knew was on his childrens' faces in their room,
The look that made a lie out of their words of hope for "recovery."
There was only one way he would ever recover from something,
But God help him - he couldn't figure out what "it" was,
And as he reached for the pills in the drawer by the bed,
The thought burned his soul all the way to his core.
The teddy bear was familiar...
By: Daniel A. Stafford