To Hell

Long golden hair, pale from the sun and a minor vanity, tied up by a brown leather strip.

Dull grey tank top and khaki fatigues, old, worn and so faithful boots, holding on for her.

Deep and earthy brown eyes, that radiated sweetness, but had the marks of bitter loss.

We sat side by side on the edge of the wilds, deep in Texas, in the harshness of summer.

Helicopters chopped the air above us, like the devil beating his wife, loud barks of aggression.

Soon one would lift off with both of us inside, to Houston, where it’d all gone to hell this time.

She’d take picture, and I’d write words, to show the world what had happened in hell this time.

But the world always rolled on, like every assignment before, until hell finally claimed the world.

The city in the distance, Houston, where held had shown up a few days ago, was red and raw

out there on the horizon, a wound that hadn’t healed and was filled with infection, a broken flesh howl,

as the fires burned and everything seemed to slip farther and farther away from us saving ourselves.

She still wears the Joan of Arc medal I gave here when we were confirmed, a faith found in the corner of our eyes.

It’s time for us to go, we collect our bags of gear and walk onto the tarmac, to fly into the fire.

National Guard soldiers and first responders, other journalists here, trying to repair, trying to record.

We board our chopper and lift off into a sky blue and smoky and churning and heavy with threatened rain.

Her eyes are closed, her head slightly bowed, praying perhaps for strength, deliverance, and a chance at hope.

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