“The Boots of War”

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - REMEMBRANCE DAY - By Myra Brouwer

The boots cleaned and pris­tine stood on the kitchen floor. He was hug­ging his mother whom he loved so dearly Nei­ther could muster a smile. Fi­nally, she left go and saw him grab his pack. Un­known to both of them, he wouldn’t be com­ing back. A smear of train grease chris­tened the boots as he hopped on. The train groaned and rolled away and soon the sol­diers were gone. Get­ting off the train, salty sea hit the leather. The sol­dier talked to his troop, pray­ing they would stay to­gether. Jump­ing off the boat, the boots were hit with sand, blood and wa­ter. Most of the troops died fight­ing, used as can­non fod­der. Mud and dirt cov­ered the boots as fel­low sol­diers fell to the ground. The man heard sec­onds ago that the air was filled with rounds. The boots got stronger and stronger with ev­ery pass­ing day stained with the blood of the sol­diers that were car­ried away. The boots did their best to pro­tect against the shrap­nel, ra­zor sharp bits, nails, wood and metal. Think­ing of his mother made him feel happy and warm, noth­ing like his boots, cold and worn. The boots were pa­tiently await­ing for the war to end, help­ing carry away the bod­ies of newly-made friends. Fi­nally it was his turn on that dark day, the boots track­ing through the mud, run­ning into the fray. A quick pull of a trig­ger, a bul­let went through his heart. His fam­ily, es­pe­cially his mother, would be torn apart. On that day the boots were placed on the doorstep with that sad let­ter, Mother cry­ing as she re­mem­bered when she and her son were to­gether.

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