I Will Miss the Train

My shift starts early
On the ward, so I see
And hear what most
Of my countrymen
Only learn about second-hand.
For instance,

This morning the sun
Stretched its arms
Rather timidly. I’ve never seen it
Be so shy. And this morning
The gym refused to open.
The greengrocer too.
The petrol station made
The attempt, but changed its mind

When the tread of the tanks
Tickled the ground
And the earth laughed. Silver birds
Rent the sky, then
The people knew
It was time to flee.

So they fled.

But I have rounds to make
Patients to see, those
Invalids who came here
To get well. Besides
Hospitals rarely close,
So I stay

And play with charts and
X-rays. In the background
The tune of soldiers
Advancing reminds me
Of those silly childhood games
I used to play

With my neighbour who had
A chest full of toy soldiers ready
To cross the border
Between his house and mine
And destroy the newborn grass,
The elderly earth,
The infant trees,
The middle-aged rocks, everything
That stood in the way. Foolish lad;
I thought the games were harmless.
Just boys being boys.

I didn’t understand.

A patient cries out
When he hears the first shell
Fall outside his window, and I
Get up and stroll
To his door and tell him
Calm yourself my friend,
There is nothing to be done.

This is how we die.

The toy soldiers have been
Taken out of the chest again
And we are standing in their way. Calm
Yourself, my friend. For ages and eons
This is how we will die.


Her voice is a poisoned apple,
The internet the kiss. She is
That which will never defeat
True love.

Kristal Peace enjoys autumns coloured with russet, lavender and red, winters obscured by snow, and books. Her poems and a short story have appeared in the Pennmen Review, Scrittura Magazine and Ink Pantry.