Suffocating, Senseless, Sacrifice

By: Aviantei

[Twelve Shots of Summer: Quarter Queller 10/12]


It all ends in the musk of dirt
in the roaring gunfire
obliterated by screeching pain:

She had imagined stepping into home's cool breeze
at ease from formation calls
and enemy alters, duties done;
her body was carried to the graveyard
(home's cool breeze not reaching inside)
jostled in its coffin
bearing the flag of her nation
the family she saved in another country
telling stories of the woman who saved their lives

none of her family able to see
the Spirit watching her own funeral
leaves cycling through colors, tombstone
engravings faded
the way she would caress the letters
and photos left at her grave
until their deliverers too passed

decades later
to the boy, disregarding
the sanctity of the dead,
unearthed her dog tags
proclaimed her free
proclaimed her alive
claimed her power
(her guns, her tactics)
as his own

A decade in the armed forces
trained her aim
to accuracy under duress,
instilled the will
to protect, even against her compatriots
drenched in the smell of metal and blood
twisted by anger
—malevolence destroyed for that boy's life

Gunfire roaring through claws
and howls through shattered fangs,
a clergyman's baritone
reciting Latin hymns and Bible verses,
both to repel the enemy,
as if the enemy wasn't inside them,
as they sidestepped
the truth:
a lapse in duty
a failure of compassion
a lost Spirit, clinging to an ill-deserved future

Until the next suffocating, senseless sacrifice would begin.

[Avi's Post-Poem Notes]

I don't always write poems, but when I do...well, I have a completed poem. Not much else to say about that. So I'll tell you why I wrote this: the [Twelve Shots of Summer: Quarter Queller] prompts "End of the World" and "Valiant." It's also a poem for Twelve Zero Zero, exploring a bit of LT's backstory.

I often attest that poetry should have a variety of line breaks that don't just rely on punctuation (as I was taught in my poetry classes), but this time I focused more on the repetition technique and just kinda tossed punctuation out the window...because if I left it in you would have seen how many of them lined up with the ends of my lines. I also found this poem to be a great exercise in substituting out vague concepts with more concrete images, sensations, and actions, though I'm not sure how well that went. Still satisfied with the result.

If you wanna see the different stages of this poem's drafting process, that's this week's Patreon exclusive content-just check out the PlotBunnyProductions page, and you're good to go! In the realm of "things you don't have to pay for," the [Twelve Shots of Summer] community has been producing great content for the past ten weeks, and there's still more to go! If you wanna see what I'm up to, Twitter holds all those answers at Plot_K_Bunny!

Man, just two more weeks of T-Sauce to go...let's do this!

Til next week's one shot, thanks for reading!