My Dear Darling (8)


Read the previous letters here:

My Dear Darling series 
Day 63
My Dear Darling,

    How is our little one? I imagine your body is starting to show off the new life growing within. I try to conjure up in my mind a picture of you, with that tiny bump. Alas, nothing will compare to feeling it in person, watching your eyes speak volumes of happiness and me trying to understand what it will be like in there for our baby. Warm? Safe? I want to be there too. I want to be warm and safe in your embrace instead of keeping watch through the dark, constantly wary. 

As I write this, a beautiful red maple leaf dances in the air, slowly drifts down and falls on this paper like a blessing, as if saying you are right here with me. Believing that you are already listening to my words, my pain… It is such a small but very much needed positive thought. Surprisingly, it is changing my view of this maple tree also. 

   When we first arrived here, it had just rained. This old, lone tree stood tall and wide, with branches too many to count twisted every which way. The flaming red leaves hung from the branches and twigs everywhere, making a vibrant canopy. The ground below was wet and mushy, the dark soil made darker by the decaying fallen leaves. That made the ground look like it was soaked in blood, as if the tree sucks it out of the soil, providing sustenance and color to its leaves. The setting sun cast its last light upon the cold water droplets dripping down, the remnants of a mighty rain. As we watched, those droplets reflected the red that was everywhere around them, showing themselves as blood dripping from the tips of those leaves. Upon first look, it was a giant gory demon with its wild flowing hair, waiting there to welcome us, the rustle of the leaves telling us our end was near. 

   But now with this single leaf in my hand, I feel silly. Perhaps the many battles have made me paranoid. But in that moment, the fear is real. With any luck, this tree is not a demon, but a fiery angel that will send me back to my wife. Hope rises once again.
Yours,

Soldier in love
Image Source: Pixabay

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Beauty and a beastly day


That moment, when in a long and tiring day, you suddenly see something very simple yet so beautiful, you want to paint, transfer that sight to paper and store it forever… But frustrated because you haven’t the time… End up being satisfied with a picture taken with your mobile and walk away with a smile because you know that view already took away half your weariness just by existing within your sight.

Modern-day Fairy Tale

In a modern-day fairy tale

Portraits beside the dinner plate 

“The One?!” was the query

Trolled through my mind very

“Mayhap” for suns few

To meet on the middle ground 

Clueless witness a hundred 

To love blooming unaware 

Smiles, jitters and butterflies 

Tingling and tickling 

With the beat of the march 

Sealed life for and into

The story how I lost mine heart

A modern-day fairy tale. 

Image Source: Pixabay

A Sailor’s Sonnet

Did it start with a long summer day?

On waters blue and wide,

A voyage long with none alongside 

But gulls that often cry.

Billowed sails catch no more, nay 

Nor the shimmering waters’ ride

All too long, an eternal wait

A sailor far from his bay.

But then came the day, with it the dame 

To deck the deck to life,

Fill the air with sounds of mirth

A new significance for eternal came 

For there ought to be no sorrow nor strife 

But joyous new life’s birth. 

Image Source: Pixabay

Heaven help me

Gaining your acquaintance was a surprise

Nobody knew we would grow fond easily

So many days I watched you in secret

Wondering if you are the one for me. 

I held back, scared and lost,

Convinced myself to be content 

With the blinding smiles and mischievous moments. 
Living a lie, you said, entertaining the world 

You and I both, love, said I in mind.

To hold on to our dreams and passions,

Life’s authenticity long lost. 

I wanted to get it back

By holding your hand for real.

But life as cruel as it is,

It pushed us together in work. 
Just a job, just a few months

I said over and over to myself

They had us enjoy our time together 

All the little red roses of lovers

“Don’t cherish it, Don’t want it”

My mantra that kept me sane.

Bit by bit I weakened and broke,

With every smile, every surprise.

The day of separation came but

Now I want to ask you 

To hold me close and kiss me

What do I do? Heaven help me!
Image Source: Pixabay

My Dear Darling (7)

Read the previous letters here:

My Dear Darling series 

Day 46
My Dear Darling,

   How is my beautiful wife doing? I hope everyone is well. It is such a relief and comfort to be able to write to you again after such a long time. More than a month has passed by too soon and yet so slow. I wish I could tell you I was thinking of you all the time, but I cannot. You know it and I know you would understand. 
   My squad and I, raided an enemy camp in the past weeks. If it is any consolation, it was only soldiers this time. No innocent children to chalk up as collateral. But the enemy is wise. They set up their camp far away, with miles of dangerous swamp between us and them. They must have thought we would not risk sending our men through there, or even if they did, we would not make it out the other end alive. They thought wrong. It was hell twice over, but we made it.

   

   My heart stays heavy my dear. I lost one good man to this mission. It was not the journey forward, or the enemy guns that killed him, but our attempt to come back home. Going forward, we marched across those marshes for more than a week. Can you imagine miles of it? Ground cannot be seen anywhere. It is murky water, damp stench and green trees all over. Some of those trees we could climb to have a place to sleep. The first night, we thought we were lucky, as we were able to stay out of the stagnant water during respite. We were naive. Mother nature would just not give us break. She brought down heavy rain upon us every night.

   

    The cold started settling in the second day, feet swollen inside the soaked boots to the point they turned an ugly purple. There was no way to dry our clothes. Our provisions were soaked. There was nothing to hunt. We had to ration our food supply quite cruelly, starting with the ones that were spoiled, so the ones that were not can last longer. By the time we reached the camp, we were shaken, sick and starving.

  

    When all was done, we thanked our dead enemies for the food they had left behind. We could not stay there long though. They knew we destroyed their place and would come looking for us. Besides, with the state of our personnel, the longer we stayed, more were the chances of us dying. We had to start walking if we wanted a chance at living to see another face again.
     The return journey took a lot longer than we expected. We were weaker, of both spirit and body. What food we brought back would not last long. The bread was stale and damp no matter how much we tried to cover it. It began moulding first so we started with that. The small careful sips of one bottle of wine among the ten of us kept our hopes high that it helped warming is up when it really did not. We kept at it for two days and then the corn went next. We carefully divided the husk, silk and the kernels, saving the stripped down cob to chew on later when we had nothing else. By sixth day through the return journey, my men had become half the size they were a month ago, now almost only skin and bones. I dare not imagine what I look like. 

  

    Our skin was shrunken and wrinkled like an old man on his deathbed. Our feet were numbing and too swollen to get the boots off and were covered in wounds and blisters. Soon one of our man talked of unbearable pain in his foot. We found that his leg has begun decaying inside his boot. The wounds were infected and the constant exposure to the muddy water was spoiling the flesh. We had no choice but to hold him down and saw his leg off. What little wine we had left we sprinkled on his foot that was only a raw, red stump, in hopes of stopping the infection. But it was a dead man’s hope.  We knew his blood was poisoned already. We took turns carrying him to keep him out of the water. It was not long before he drew his last breath, confused, scared and in tears, yet relieved to be finally freed from the pain. 

  

    His death shook us all. It gave us the last shred of energy, so we could return his body to his family. He deserved at least that much. This is the true reality of war. Now I do not know what I am fighting for any more. 
Yours,

Soldier in love. 
Image Source: Pixabay