256 Words

And I Walked onto the Battlefield

M. Stanley Bubien

And I walked onto the battlefield. As I marched between the lines, bullets whipped by, rockets lit overhead, tanks threw shells each toward the other.

And I halted in the battlefield. The breeze blew, ruffling white trench coat, though its gentle wafting drowned by the din.

And I opened the coat. Cradled there, within right arm, the tiniest of forms, barely three months amongst our world.

And I waited with her there. Guns, rockets, tanks, all paused in their barrage, as each in time spotted the naked child, fell slowly, fell silent, fell until only the breeze spoke.

And I lifted her aloft. Her voice came gentle, at once quiet, but gaining volume, gaining strength, gaining light until the battlefield rang with song as my fingers caressed sensitive skin about her neck.

For she laughed.

And soldiers holding guns, from side to side, whipped heads up.

For she laughed louder.

And soldiers launching rockets, from side to side, eyes lit wide.

For she laughed louder still!

And soldiers driving tanks, from side to side, threw hatches open.

And each, at once heavy, but lighter, lighter in futility, lighter in hope, lighter together the soldiers laughed too. For they remembered. Some of raising their child's joy, others wiping their child's tears, others again, simply their child.

And the din died, as one by one, they turned aside, turned away, turned back to the lives they had left.

And I knelt in the battlefield, my daughter and I, alone.

For she laughed her magic.

And I laughed too.

Copyright ©1999 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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August, 1999
Issue #40

256 Words