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Apr 30
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 29, 2019)

At the end, you always remember the beginning,
sleepless sweating and the dread of the new.
It was going into battle through the glass doors,
the receptionist on the front lines, the rounds of names.
There was always the fear of missing something lifesaving,
the cliffs of inevitable failures ahead of you,
the roster of duties and missions you would not be suited for,
the impenetrable maps, the bank of phones with fifty lights,
the script of survival at the skirmish, the awkwardness
in the dying role.

Figuring out your generals and where they stood
from their hilltop proclamations, this little trooper
finally learned the war machine, way too late
to take on the mission with any patriotism,
way too late to be anything more than a soldier
serving out the term. My badge of honor
became what I could not do, my efficient honesties
and the raw willingness to fail.

Maybe this is a mark of a mature conscript,
the luxury of modesty, the last days
of having nothing left to prove.
Prompt: start with a declarative statement and write a powerful emotion reflected in tranquility.
Mary McCray
Written by
Mary McCray
32
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