Toy Soldier

My sister used a quarter in a machine the other day,

one that drops random surprises, mostly worthless

but still they are kept, for reasons unbeknownst by most

As the claw picked up a ball, stale candy joining the fall

a little red soldier tumbled out

those little ones that are normally green, seen in big packs

But this one, this one was red, and my heart screamed

"Can I have this?" I asked her, the soldier resting in my hand

She nodded, "yeah, I only wanted the strawberry candy anyways."

I tucked it in my pocket, thoughts flying through my mind

and I thought of you.

Far away you were from me, in Thailand, training for the infantry

I wiped away a tear

and clutched the soldier to my chest when I got home

Biting my lip to stop my crying from being loud

I looked at the detail on my soldier,

noticing he had your hair, and what looked like your jeans,

my heart tensed up, my breath caught

the tears kept flowing

my throat clenching up

my brain pulsating,

and my gut, oh my gut, dropping to the ground with such a whoosh I felt like I might sink,

then and there to the bottom of the earth,

it was hard to breathe, and I closed my eyes

crying even more when I realized I couldn't remember your voice.

"Don't worry" they all say

Don't worry? are they INSANE?

"You're freaking out for no reason,"

I wanted to scream NO

I haven't been able to talk to you for 22, no 23 days.

I cannot send you a letter, cuz I don't know exactly where you are,

I cannot meet you at the airport, cuz I have no idea when you will be back,

will it be later then you thought? or earlier? I cannot and do not know.

Worry keeps me up at night, thoughts of you make me cry, 

anytime I hear someone say your name, I almost drop on the spot.

I re-read our messages, not all at once, that would bring too much pain.

I listen to songs that remind me of you,

I watch TV and I think of you, especially if a character does something you would do.

I do not know if you are okay, and it KILLS me EVERYDAY.

I clutch my soldier to my chest again, thinking of you,

and barely keeping it together.


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