The Unknown Soldier | Teen Ink

The Unknown Soldier

January 10, 2011
By NVRSHOUTNVRFAN17 PLATINUM, Morrisville, Vermont
26 articles 2 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"to some i am nothing but a burden but to others i am but a miracle."

Struggling to keep silent,
Pushing myself deeper towards safety,
The sound of footfall and gun shots,
Echo through the air.

Darker and Darker the day grows,
But the sounds never die,
Unlike my friends,
I left behind.

A single tear escapes its grasp,
And silent sobs escape my lips.
I know what I’ve done,
I hate
This place, those people, myself.

I hear screaming.
From afar, but it is so close,
I stop and listen.

“Help!” they call, “Save me!”
And cries of pain.
Covering my ears,
Closing off my conscience,
But the howls never end.

A hand wraps itself,
Around my arms and pins my screams,
Behind an open palm.
I find fear,
Before I reason.

Shock holds me still,
As this man pulls me up,
And is flying through the trees.
Familiarity is gone,
But the hope within my heart,
Is not.

I struggle to free my arm,
That will reach for the
Hidden in my pocket.

My hand is free!
I pull the dagger from its hideaway,
And plunge it deep within,
My enemy’s skin.

Is what I feel,
When I touch the ground,
But my heart feels relief.

He clutches his wound
And for a moment I catch
The truth behind his eyes,
Before he falls forward, dead.

Or so I thought.
His breathe comes haggard.
His face contorting with pain,
As he struggles to form words.

He coughs up blood.
“Safety is beyond the forest.
Men, women, children;
You must flee!”

I stand,
Unsure of what to do.
Fear pushes me to go,
Deep into the forest.
To hide.

Trust urges me to listen,
To want to believe his words,
Believe safety exists.

And the trust grows,
As I realize,
He could’ve left me, could’ve been silent,
Laying in the dirt,
Waiting for death.

And guilt.
It overflows from my heart.
Guilt for the man,
For the boys I left behind,
Where they are, I’ll never know.
Guilt for losing trust.

I kneel beside him,
Feel the fever coming from him.
He will die, he will die.
I shed a tear for what I’ve done,
For what I let this make me become.

But he smiles.
Takes his hand and wipes the blood,
On his uniform.
He places it gently on my arm,
And tells me, “Go.”

Gunshots grow closer,
Angry shouts become audible.
“Through here!
They went through here!”

And I do.
Racing for the hope,
The Unknown Soldier,
Left a sinful child.

The author's comments:
Inspired by the book A Long Way Gone, which is about the apartheid from the view of a boy in Africa

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