The ghost watches the images,
the ethereal visions float across the screen,
talking heads making nonsense promises,
vouching the dedication of the unwilling.
Those words echo through the lines,
interrupting the only peace he knows,
"shore leaves cancelled..."
"possibility of renewed hostilities..."
He shakes a willing head,
the madness coming again,
politicians and playwrights scripting a grand plan,
preparing the stage for yet another act.
They say they know what they are doing,
I hope so.
They say they have the answers,
I can see the lies.
If it does come to that,
the conflict, the hating, the fighting,
ghosts killing one another for nothing,
he will go,
do this duty to god and country.
Steeling himself comes easy,
the cold prepares an easy embrace,
welcoming home another lost child,
uttering the familiar lies.
The ghost asks of no one,
what of my life when I return?
The same as last time,
empty victories, hollow eyes,
the past nothing but a nightmare,
the future unimagined.
They tell tales of missiles,
explosions in the dead of night,
hellfire without salvation,
dead flotsam face down in the waters.
These things scare the ghost,
he was just getting used to finding the future,
living again out in the light and warmth,
now damned to die a silent death?
Knowing full well that she could be next,
a victim of politic and rhetoric,
her fragile heart blown apart with the same violence,
knowing there will be no homecoming.
Small things collected,
the elements all aligned and in proper place,
he walks out the door,
and heads bound for work.
He'll come back this time
he always comes back.

original prose, Yurei, 2000
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