Without

Phoenix to Windfall 10 13 2015 105

On nights when the moon died without shining
And my soul was filled with clouds
Stillness drained my heart of songs
Me, a child soldier on guard duty
Contemplating dying
Yet another death

Feelings that cascade awareness
Feel strange when they belong
To someone else: I’ve no inclination
To hold them close to my heart
To make them part of my soul

But then, oh then
When Her fear was mine
When Her hell burned me
When Her strength fortified me
I was Her then

Endless nights ‘tween midnight
And dawn so slow in coming
I so fucking hated them
And the monsters who visited
The wood outside bedroom turned bunker
In my childhood turn conscription

Still, I found words
Spinning them into worlds
Giving birth to mythical people
Who simply I could never find
In the world beyond my bunker

From son
To Man of The House
To Lord of The Flies
To orphan
I never quite returned
Or ever wanted to
Except kicking screaming
In nightmares and flashbacks

At times
I so wished I would have killed
I so wished I would have fought
Hand to hand on battlefields
I so wished I would have died
The hero’s death
Defending Her goodness
Protecting Her family

But, no, I was just a child soldier
Self-taught in the ways of fear
Self-taught in the ways of hate
Between sunset and sunrise
Without the Her I needed

Copyright © 2019 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved                                                   Photo: Tree Alone (Windfall, 2015)

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