By Amanda Klejeski

                                                                                                                            for my brother

                                                                        
                                                                        The mortars fell
                                                                               I couldn't feel the explosion
                                                                        The sun fried bare skin
                                                                               I couldn't lick my chapped lips
                                                                        The darkness awakened demons
                                                                               I couldn't squeeze my eyes shut
                                                                        The foxholes crawled with fire ants
                                                                               I couldn't scratch and claw my arms into scabs
                                                                        The rifle magazine jammed
                                                                               I couldn't beat the cold metal into action
                                                                        The clouds spilled sheets of rain
                                                                               I couldn't curse the gray sky
                                                                        The machines of death stared me in the eye
                                                                               I couldn't beg and ask God
                                                                        
                                                                        I'm sorry I can't hear, Brother.
                                                                        I try to listen.
                                                                        
                                                                        I'm sorry.

Amanda Klejeski is a junior at Bemidji State, majoring in English and creative and professional writing. She hopes to someday publish a book, live in another country, and swim with dolphins. She is a lover of all things outdoors, especially riding her horse, Psyche.