Shock is a poem written and shared by Alessandra Raed to The Ugly Writers under the theme After The Storm for the month of June.
During the explosions, I couldn’t close my eyes.
The terror scene was blasting in front of me.
I was in shock.
It was my first time in the war.
I thought I was prepared.
We all think we are. But we are not.
At war, we witness danger, we lose lives,
we kill other people, we can be killed.
Then we realize we are nothing,
and there is nothing else we can do other than fight,
or stop and cry.
I stopped and cried. I broke down.
I was there but I couldn’t do it.
That moment when I looked
dozens of soldiers – just like me –
running inside the building,
And I froze.
My legs didn’t move.
My mind couldn’t make sense. I stayed back.
I saw them running back out
carrying three children on their arms.
They were badly hurt, but still alive.
Two ladies were screaming
other people’s names.
The look in their eyes was lost and dead.
It was then, I felt someone touching me,
shaking my right arm, calling
“Soldier, please, help me,”
the sweet and scared voice
rang straight into my ears
and woke me up from my frozen moment.
I looked down,
her tears were dripping faster than mine.
She was calm but her body was trembling.
I bent over and picked her up.
“It’s going to be all right,”
I told her but I didn’t believe me.
I carried her away from the building.
I tried to get closer to my tank.
I walked a mile and couldn’t see the tank.
“Please take me home,”
she hugged me tight
and rested her had on my shoulders.
Where was home to that little girl?
That place wasn’t her home anymore.
It was destroyed.
Everything turned into ashes.
Five explosions in only 15 minutes.
I got to my tank,
my Sergeant Commander was shot dead,
head down to the road, legs blocking the tank door.
I put the little girl down by my side,
pulled the Commander’s legs out of the way,
dragged his body into the tank.
I came back to the door to bring her inside.
The shooting started.
I desperately ran to grab her,
but the bullet was quicker than my thoughts.
She fell down by my boots,
brown eyes wide opened still asking to go home.