Cannon Fodder
by Dawn Schout

In an army uniform, captured
in black and white,
you remind me of a guy I used to know.

I never knew you,
but like my soldier, you would rather
have been shot in the leg
than leave the woman you loved.

You were not alive
long enough to know
I am like you.

You wrote Grandma dozens of sane letters
from the insane asylum she put you in,
realizing too late
she married you for money,
not love.

War was easy,
but her shrapnel made you lame,
left you with a scar
that would not cease
to throb. Rope around your neck

did not sting as much as rejection.
He left me.
So did you.

Copyright 2022 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.