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He found me in the middle of a war

Or maybe I should say

We found one another

 

The way two sleepy people—

Heads hanging down

Looking at the ground—

Bumps heads and

Mutter softly,

“Excuse me.”

 

 

I behind my shield

Holding to the leather strap

With knuckles white

Hands calloused where my grip

Could not afford to wane

Despite the pain

Of taking blows

And whispering low,

“How much longer?”

 

 

He to the left of his sword

Filled with ink

Black and dripping

Onto the page

Bleeding through

Pigments of rage and

Unanswered fear

Composing his mantra,

“What purpose here?”

 

 

We met on the battlefield

Surprised and confused

To find company

In the midst of assumed

Isolation

Comforted and ashamed

Of the devastation

We wore like scars and tattoos,

“Come no closer.”

 

 

Lucky for me

His eyes were exposed

Unprotected and flashing life

Like a flickering neon sign

Hanging in a window

Passed by thousands

Noticed by few

The shades drawn tight but,

“Open.”

 

 

Lucky for him

My grip was weakening

Armor slipping

He saw that I was breathing

Still awake but

Dirty from the fight

Ashamed of the darkness

But longing to ignite,

“Alive.”

 

 

We lifted our hands

Almost at the same time

Palms facing the other

Skin cracked and dry

Touching to confirm

Poetry written in the sky

In the form of sunshine

Warm and personified,

“I am here.”

 

 

I lowered my defense

He drew something new

Between my mind and my breast

We gazed and we grew

I, he, we began to smile

Said too much

Then nothing at all

Fear melting

Trust erecting a bridge to,

“Surrender.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Thorsten Dittrich‘s piece, The Mentor.  http://www.thorstendittrich.de)

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