IP: The Missing Whispers
Nothing to worry about. We all hear them. In the bunker, the ship’s bridge or the cockpit. The whispers from home.
May be your Dad, whistling as he shaves. May be the sound of the thrush outside your window, or the factory hooter, or the girl next door laughing as she swishes her hair and her skirt and pretends not to notice your look.
May be the scent of rain on the cornfields, or smog catching your nose and your throat as you peer your way through the city. May be the way the sun chases shadows across purple hills, or the way the sky blankets flat marshes.
May be the sight of lashes curling on a tiny, sleeping cheek, or the dent in the pillow, still warm from her skin.
We each have our own whispers from home.
They say that at the end a man calls out for his mother. Shaking, coughing, crawling his life away on unforgiving soil; treading it away in rocking, sleep bringing, sense numbing water; scorching, searing it away in inescapable flame as the ground spirals upward. A man calls out for his mother, in hope or despair.
This is what they take from us, these wars. Just or degraded, unavoidable or preening folly, in the end they come down to this: a man, taken before his time, denied his chance to be somebody else’s whisper from home.