A farmer working in a field with his children formed
A bucolic scene in the countryside, maybe.
An older man crashed his bicycle and
Injured his leg, or so it would seem.
On the first tour, these scenes did not
Seem so ambiguous. The world
Had not given over to chaos then.
A soldier might still pass with a sense of purpose.
On the second tour, doubt set in,
And the soldiers sometimes faltered
In indecision–perhaps the wedding
Party was filled with combatants.
On the third tour, everyone is
A combatant. Everyone must die.
The universe is infinite and absolute
Hostility, death the only possible escape.
He asked whether I thought US soldiers
May have committed atrocities.
I asked whether he had support
For his mental health needs.
He answered only with
A desperate, pleading smile.