kind of the best poem tbh

10

‘That was an awesome red carpet. Did you do it?’

you are the soldier
but long ago you learned you were not a soldier
they whisper that you are a killer, scream, “murderer”
but instead the mirror accuses, “executioner”
crimson soaks into the lines of your hands
you are accustomed to it
it is so others can keep their hands clean
they all stand there with their
white palms facing up
and you turn away, face full of shame
and fist full of anger

soldier, you are righteous
but long ago you were told you were not righteous
they say your heart is not true, you are without virtue
but you hear yourself sneer, “self-righteous”
paths of knives in your skin will always remain
you collect scars like children collect pebbles
it’s so the innocent can live in serenity
they know you as a fairytale, the villain, a monster
and you dutifully oblige so they
are can remain none the wiser

soldier, you are brave
but long ago you understood you only do what you do out of fear
they misdeem your inevitable actions for heroism
but you taste the bitter “coward” between your teeth and tongue
your perception of fear is warped
you treat it like it’s an old friend you hate
and you lead every battle
and you emerge victorious, and even more fearful

soldier, you are pompous
but long ago you came to know you are but a boy wearing a man’s clothes
they mutter that you swagger to and fro with cheek and scorn
but in your shadow you see you are humble and meek
all your world is a masquerade but yet your mask and cloak is remain the same
so to fool those witless enough to doubt you
you harbor your humanity as your biggest secret
but all the plaster in the world
could not hide the cracks in your eyes

soldier, do not turn your face away
let it not be full of shame
soak your fingers in liberty and the redness will wash away
let truth be a salve, let it soothe and heal
don’t forget demons have souls too
unlearn the brutality of battle
savor the shiver and whimpers as you cower in fear
your humanity is a gift, not a prize to be hidden
or viewed in secrecy
be proud and flaunt your cordiality
feel your clothes grow too large for you
as you grow too small for the world

soldier, forget your burdens
soldier, remember your will
solider, forget your pain
soldier, remember your passion
soldier, forget the expectations
soldier, remember you are a human too

—  soldier, soldier | (S.C)