By Ray Bowyer

Today we sit for hours at Al Yarmuk without incident. Like most days the day is beautiful. 

Today the silence afforded me the opportunity to read two essays by Howard Zinn.  

Today they are passionate, elegant, and beautiful…  

Today I hope that my children will one day read the same essays.  

Like most days they are beautiful.  

Today is silent and boring…  

The silence is safety and beautiful. 

Like most days, the golden silence is disrupted by explosions.  

Today I press the button on my radio and ask if they need help. Like most days, the answer is yes.  

Today I should be at home.  

Today is my sister’s birthday and she is beautiful. 

Today we speed through the city, jumping medians and dodging feral dogs.  

Like most days an empty box, trash, and roadkill are the most terrible things.  

The fear they bring is anything but beautiful. Today there will be no silence.  

Like most days we can smell them burning. 

Today we have come to help.  

Like most days they ask us to search the neighborhood. Today we find nothing.  

Like most days no one has seen or heard anything.  

Today they lie to us. 

Today two small children run from me.  

Like most days they run as if their life depends on their swiftness.  

Today I hate that I am hated.  

Today they ask us for a body bag.  

Today I hate that we have eight and that tomorrow we will have seven.  

Today I watch as they pull him out of the blackened truck. 

Like most days boots and vests have turned from gray to red. 

Today they place him right next to me. Like most days I pretend not to notice.  

Today I hate to look left. 

Today more people come to help. Like most days they are too late. 

Today I watch them take the man from my left and put him in the trunk of a large truck. Today I watch as they pack him in like… well like they should not have.  

Like most days there is no beauty. 

Today we find the cord that caused the mess. Like most days we follow it to a building full of people who know nothing. 

Today we don’t believe them.  

Today we cuff them, search them and put blindfolds over their eyes. 

Like most days we find nothing  

and they don’t know anything.  

Today we take them anyways 

Today over the deafening laborious engine I can hear him cry. 

Like most days I hate that I can. Today he hates me.  

Like most days I wish they knew me so they would not be afraid.  

Today I hate that I am hated.  

Tonight there will be little sleep.  

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?

Skip to toolbar