Christina A. Sharik


I’m 50 now.
I was 23 when I became a Casualty of War –
his war.
I shed enough tears to fill the South China Sea
but it didn’t stop him from leaving me.
He brought his barbed wire fences
and his claymores home, and
set up his perimeters –
I bloodied my hands on razor wire
trying to get to him –
I had a son;
I say “I” because he stayed away,
too afraid of what we might ask,
too afraid of what he might say.
Well, my son knows him now
and for that I’m very glad
we understand a little better now
but that’s what is so sad.
And I wonder –
How many of you are still in pain,
still hung up on the wire?
We would have torn our hands to shreds
to make you safe,
and warm you at our fire.
Our only crime then was that
we stood too close to the open wounds you bore –
We’ll help you now
but you’ll have to let us know
who and where you are.
Count us all as
Casualties of War.