by Beatriz Lagos



He was cleaning the sand from his weapons
While memories kept haunting him
-radiant bonfires in his brains-
a joyful gathering of friends
down at the beach in Bodega Bay.
Boys and girls singing in the night
Because they were not twenty yet.

Sweat was running down his body,
A merciless sun absorbing his youth
At each second he spent in that desert.
He just wanted to remember her lips
Because nothing matters in the world
But love, when you are not twenty.

He kept cleaning his weapons looking around
Because you never knew when and from where
The enemy would strike
-Enemy who was defending his beliefs and land-
He heard something and fear flooded his heart,
Fear that makes heroes and suicidal deaths in the sand.
Because he was not twenty yet
And had in his lips the taste of love
And of sweet company in the night.

The sand, blown by careless winds
Kept covering his weapons and he stopped
That useless cleaning
He heard a buzzing sound and nothing else.
Bits of his flesh and bits of love
Tinted crimson, blood crimson, the surrounded sand
And not being twenty yet
He was dead in a foreign land.


Please, do not tell her,
Do not tell that mother.
Bite your lips first
Turn your head and hide
From that woman, who
Instead of holding her son
In her arms
She was left alone
With a folded flag.
Please, do not tell her
He died in the wrong place
Because of a lie.
Please do not tell her.


O Great Commander of the hyena smile
Who seeking victories and honors
Is drowning in blood adolescent soldiers.
O Great Commander who, refusing to accept
Or recognize failures , keeps sacrificing our children.
All those ribbons on your jacket donīt belong to you
They belong to our young dead boys who trusted you.

A Commander greatest honor is to recognize
His own limitations and resigned in time to save
Most of his troop lives.


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