Mark I. Kirkmeyer

LOSS OF A PLAYGROUND
A Soldier’s Memory of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992

Ten years ago this week
Were the events of which I speak
I had seen death before
Participated in the art of war
This did not prepare me
For what I was to see

Death and destruction had been over there
I was always safe when here
Smoke from fire just as thick
As the oil field smoke that made me sick
Enemies who once were friends
This is where my sanity ends

We set up our patrol base
In my childhood “safe” place
Making a military parade ground
Out of my childhood playground
What a way to return home
“This is the life I chose.” I moan.