I'm staring through a wall of translucent glass, Rain-streaked,
The world mourning as another jet heads towards the Sandbox.

I'm standing in a corner, my own personal little slice of Hell
Right here, stateside, in DIA, departure Gate B; lucky me.

I'm already fighting the quicksand, oozing into my brain,
And only vaguely hear the words, "I could never be so strong…"
As they leave somebody's lips as innocent words, thoughtless words,
That cut into my soul, sear me to the bone, rip apart my patchwork-quilt heart.

"It must be so hard for you," someone sympathizes, a compassionate, idiot soul.

Fucking ignorant.


"…To be so used to it that you don't even cry anymore."
And the words are reverent. Like they're looking up to me, like I'm a God,
Or something like that.

Because they have no clue whatsoever.

"Don't even cry anymore." What a crock.

Truth is, I've just learned to hide it better.

So that, when that jet is leaving, I can stand and watch it go. Dry-eyed.
And they can think of me as some statuesque, strong woman.

And I can be happy in knowing that this grief is my own, and I won't share it.

Because if society is so blind as to fall for my carefully structured mask,
How can they ever begin to understand what our Soldiers go through?

They are easily fooled.

And oblivious when, finally, the tears come.

Stateside, at departure Gate B, in DIA — my own personal little slice of Hell,
When the jet finally leaves my line of sight.


L. Sherman