His eyes are closed and a tear runs down his cheek. It gathers in the filth on his face, makes soft mud there. His rifle leans against his left shoulder, butt to the ground, its bayonet gleaming hard and steel through the liquid red of new blood running down to stain the gray cloak of his uniform.
His eyes open and he looks down upon the body of his just-slain enemy. Blue material absorbs and hides the blood much better, he thinks, laughs hysterically. He reaches inside the shirt of the dead soldier. Searching, sobbing, and there he finds a large red paper heart adorned with real lace and fine, spun glass. His weeping is absolute now. He falls to his knees, eyes to the sky, beseeching god.
He reaches inside his vest, discovers his own mortal wound. In each of his hands now he holds a large paper heart, white lace, fine spun glass and blood fresh of battle. He sees the inscription on each, identical: “My dearest Johnny.” He bends down low, cries out in pain, looks into the dead eyes of his vanquished enemy, face to face, moaning, live lips to dead lips. Death’s embrace; he cries, dies.
© 2018 artwork, music & words
conceived by & property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2018 ©
An American Valentine was published by The turbulent Soul Within 2004