While you fought in the war,
you killed Japanese men with your tank.
Even though you regret violence,
you recall how
getting attacked made you furious.
Now you’re old and a Buddhist convert,
paint abstract canvases at the shore,
and watch flowering cherry blossoms
in the blue sky of your window
You feel your heart buckle in mutiny
every time a green hill
reminds you of caves you shot at
in the Pacific.
In your mind you repeat a mantra
to calm yourself.
Will you ever find repose?
Heather Sager is an author of poetry, short stories, and flash fiction. Her recent writing has appeared in Mantis, New World Writing, Sweet Tree Review, Little Patuxent Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, West Texas Literary Review, and other journals. Heather grew up in rural Minnesota and lives in Illinois.