Soldier

Civil War

Album

Last nights dreams were merely horrors. Brother was at war, a proud soldier looking after his men with every fiber of his being. And I was there. In dusty streets, filled with darkness, death lurking on every corner if only you were to go knocking. He kept me safe. He kept us all safe. But I found myself alone in an old shop, when a girl walked inside, smiling. The sun had already set and strange men were watching us from across the street. I forget the words we exchanged, but suddenly it was as if she were one of my men and I was to look after her now that brother had gone. Fear was replaced with the mission at hand. But brother came back. Somewhere in the dream they were about to take us. Bullets buzzing over our heads and somehow two teeth fell out of my little mouth. Teeth? How odd. All I know is brother kept me safe and I was scared. The fight to stay alive made us strong.

Brother always wanted to be a soldier. He was part of the sea cadets with John McCain’s son at a young age. I remember going to Mr. and Mrs. McCain’s house as a child for a ceremony. All I remember is shaking their hand and thinking their pool was the bluest of blue. So young. Brother went to army training and boot camp in later years. But after the injury and the birth of his son, he was no longer in the army. It was all he ever dreamed about since I can remember. Reading books about war heroes, the Bible and watching Bands of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan. I’m convinced he would have been the best of soldiers. The type that would fight for you ‘til the very end. Just like in my dream. ★

Photos: These are scans of a little album brother found in an antique shop in Tennessee, on the square in the town where mother grew up. He was a young boy at the time and his face lit up at the sight of it. He bought the album for $10 and it holds pictures of men from the Civil War and what I can only assume is their family.

Q: What was your last dream?

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