Daddy’s Little Chore Boy and Mommy’s Little Soldier

When the air is too hazy to see ten feet in front of you,
look up to the sky for guidance, and let defeat wash over
over as the familiar light comes raining down
traumatizing shrieks sound your impending doom (if you don’t move).

Nobody talks about the smells on the front line but
it’s more foul than death ‘cause
because it’s putrid like sulfur mixed with
gasoline and fire and cigarettes and adrenaline.

Nowhere has more cryptic air
Nothing feels more perilous and stagnant than
than a sound that anybody can hear like
Silence. Here. It’s silent here.

There’s only green and orange and red light and
Someone was just shot -
shot up next to you
It’s become a disturbing calamity.

But soon you’ll infiltrate the premises
and all will be calm and chilly and bountiful the
The man in uniform who faces you will salute and
Be respectful and conventional and

Then you leave the 7-11 parking lot.

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Written for an extended metaphor assignment in high school, this poem compares the dark, dank, urban scenery of a 7-11 convenience store at night to the harsh and real image of being on the battlefield in war.