Walking Wounded

Posted by Tim Mikulski, May 14, 2013 0 comments

Walking Wounded
By Maritza Rivera

I used to dance
and carry your weight
effortlessly across
the floor.

I used to walk
the distance of your gaze
keep cadence when you marched
kick a soccer ball past the goalie
score winning runs
dash to the finish line.

A bullet whispered your name
before you heard the shot
before you felt the sting of it.
When you regain consciousness
I will be a ghost of searing pain
reminding you of how I felt
before the lights dimmed.

In time I will be replaced
by a robotic facsimile
that will never tire
as I once did.
You will walk and run and dance
again without my support
and wonder what became of me.

Now I lay me down on a heap
of other amputated limbs
a mangled mess of bone and blood and skin
missing the flex of your muscles.

Maritza Rivera is a former Army Military Intelligence officer who served from June 1974 to August 1978. She is the author of About You and A Mother’s War, written during her son’s two tours in Iraq. She is also a regular contributor to Poets Responding to SB 1070, participates in the Memorial Day Writer’s Project and hosts the annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat in Waynesboro, PA.

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