We join a line at a bus stop
No ordinary queue.
A small gathering of strangers,
all here for the same reason;
to remember six young men
none of us knew,
killed in a place we can’t imagine.
Their pictures pinned to the shelter wall;
smiling, confident, brave.
A quick snapshot
that every soldier knows
might be his last.
The one we see when they are gone.
Two minutes of silence,
Two minutes for them.
I steal a glance at my eldest,
head bowed, just nine;
Half the life
of the youngest soldier.
I think of the families’ grief and pain,
the sadness that must weigh them down
and engulf everything.
I think of the hard road ahead;
the gaps that will never close.
And I pray in these darkest hours
there’s some comfort in knowing
they died with friends,
doing a job they loved.
However hard to understand.
The church bell breaks the silence;
time moves on again.
The kids walk slowly to the car,
my thoughts caught in a distant place
as they count the days till daddy’s home.