Monday, December 19, 2011

Green Soldier

A poem by Daniel A. Olivas

The green soldier
could not stand.

Imperfectly molded, a thin,
sneaky wisp of plastic sprung
from his base so that he teetered
and tottered and fell if I tried to play
with him.

With a bit of a whine
(if truth be told), I asked Mama to
fix him because he was my favorite,
better than all the other green
soldiers in my shoe box.

She put down the Los Angeles Times
and whisked my soldier off to the

Mijo, stay here, she
said. I’ll be right back.

A moment later, I heard a
scream and my four-year-old
heart leapt.

Papa ran, frantic and confused,
from the bedroom to Mama.

The razor blade, her tool to fix
my soldier, had slipped and
sliced, deep and red, into her

But my soldier could
now stand, proud and tall, and
I played with him as my sister
watched over me while Papa drove
Mama to the emergency room.

And my sister shook her head
as my green soldier
entered into a great,
heroic battle on the
turquoise, vinyl couch.

[“Green Soldier” is featured in the unpublished collection, Crossing the Border: Poems.]

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