They say it passes
The pain so cold
Even atlas shrugged
Or so I’m told

He was out of sight
Walking on water
A fallen tree bridge
A bomb rang louder

His steps stopped so abrupt
Smoke and dirt were to breath
Gone in an instant
His bloody face screamed

I still see his face
Bloody and scared
The water so deep
Wet blood in his hair

He was screaming so loud
When I jumped in
I grabbed his body
I reached for his hand

The water a mess
Water touching my chin
I opened my mouth
The water rushed in

He yelled and screamed
I panicked and pulled
This boy would not die
In water so cold

I knew I had to do it
I was so frightened beneath
I had to reach down through it
The water so deep

I stalled for a moment
Whispered,” it’s gonna be ok”
“I’ve got you, they’ve got you”
He quieted his bloody face

They came to the bank
Reached down and pulled
This time I didn’t think
Lifting him high once more

In water so cold
I grabbed at his knees
Scared and surprised
I felt legs beneath

My mind rejoiced
His bloody face still screamed
Yet, his hand, his face
Torn open and bled

In the mix of it all
His knife in my hand
I meant to cut off his gear
He was missing only a hand

The bird came loud
So fast and fluttered
The shots rang out
From afar, from cover

I couldn’t shoot back
The bird flew, scattered

Frantically I scratched

To climb out of the water

His gear still a drift
His knife in my hand
Miles still to sift
Of this mine filled land

Days later, I stalled
Reached down, nervous sweat
My legs were still their
His knife, still wet

I gave his knife to the man
“Tell me he lived” I begged
“He lost a hand and an eye-
But he’s still got his legs”