Light Her Up

He told a story about a young girl
Captured, tortured, lit up like the north star
Then, extinguished–
left upon the road for the next
patrol to find.
And her anguish entered him
and smothered his goodness
and oppressed his spirit
until he could not feel anymore.

And then another she came along
And lit up his night vision
like an angel who, unannounced,
does when she needs to make a point.
He saw her, oh, he saw her–
Radiant and steady and immovable
Blocking his further decline
By making him look at the
girl, so small and vulnerable,
left there alone
happy to be free of that lit up frame.

And the light made him cry
But no tears fell
“Soldiers don’t tell
if they want to come home alive.”
And the glorified one tapped
her cheek and made a soft,
nearly imperceptible sigh–
lyrical winds rushed past his face
and soon
he could not stop the rainstorm
of his soul.
She freed him and lit him up
until the illumination
cast love all around him
and the angel said, “adieu”
and the light faded away as surely
as it had arrived.
And the soldier was young again
And the girl was lit up.

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