My seventh school
The sea of strangers surrounds me
I introduce myself to a girl in the lunch queue
“Why did you join in the middle of the year?”
I tell her my parents are in the navy.
She says, her face calculating.
“You’re one of those.”
Mother’s eyes are stone.
“Later, I’ll inspect your room.”
Look down, nod. “Yes, ma’am.”
Every night, we watch the news.
The war footage is hellish and with every death they announce a fresh terror seizes me.
I keep checking the photos, but it’s never my Father.
Relief fills me… but then I feel guilty;
Somewhere in the world a family is mourning.
What right do I have to feel relieved?
The news theme tune is the soundtrack to my nightmares.
The cycle never ends.