In Memory of a Soldiers’ Daughter

before me she sat screamed venom within this special junior high class

because my occasional teacher’s low-calling, my spare was revoked

a twisted grimace of pain for a mouth I wanted to know their names and all but she conformed

her tirade rose in waves but fell in splintered guttural ejections while her eyes flashed lightening no stranger had the right to know her

her posture, a scoliotic knot from waist to scalp revealed an ongoing war

my gentle attempts useless class members sniggered complicity but no empathy

ultimately pouting her insults ended. head covered with taut hands

her father once again home on leave had already won his ravaged self on her body

so much for a soldier’s commitments to keep terrorist mirages away so that he can preserve his idea of democracy.

© Diane Stevenson Schmolka .

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