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  • Writer's picturelperskie

Child Soldier


I am a child soldier conscripted, unarmed

the proxy of the enemy

in a war without end-

my only retreat is within myself

I cannot leave the battlefield


The war in a disturbed home

is never over

there is no escape from

the narcissist dictator-

to decry its crimes

risks death or revenge

just the same


As a seer of the truth

I cannot stand, only bend

and try to soften horrors

with pleas and mews of obeisance.


There is no advance

only retreat-

sometimes I exist

barely breathing

reduced to a point

in a vague floating world

under glacier silence

recoiled in a recess

of self-negation

where time and pain

stop but so do

reason, sensation, and memory


Yet, the mercy of obliteration

is a fleeting respite

and pain appears again

in waves, shaking and pounding

reawakening me

drawing me forth over its

cutting edges, its twists, and turns

devised by an unpredictable

master mad-mind.

returning me to the pinhole

from whence I came

around the singularity left of me.


Oh child soldier

conscripted to pay

for others’ sins through

punishments meted without merit-


One day a door will open

and you must walk towards the light

with this potent seed

seemingly tiny and timorous

but filled with stores

of untold suffering

and restorative potentialities

to a field where you are

free to regrow yourself

In the light and gain

courage in the knowledge

that you are not the evil

that was done to you-

You are made new and free

in your choice to go

your choice to grow.

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