REST by Laone Coop



Small particles of near-frozen water,

Stark white against espresso brown,

Drifting down upon the abandoned forest.

Trees stretch high,

A haven for small animals

Who have survived the growing solitude.

I shouldn’t be outside

But the soft sound of snowflakes

On trampled grass, now dead,

Leaves me wishing I could play

Here in this

Frozen wasteland where a beautiful city

Once stood.


I’m fortunate to have shoes,

So I can play outside,

Unlike my brothers and sisters,

The ones who are left.

A patch of blood red catches my eye,

I can see the shape of someone in a uniform.


Is it a soldier?


My brain tells me to go back,

Sneak back to the cellar;

But my heart,

Tells me to go forward.

I step closer, eyes wide,

But my look softens when I see

No signs of life coming from him.

He looks frozen,

A concrete statue left behind.


Baba said that when someone

Doesn’t breathe anymore,

They’ve gone to a special place

And we should close their eyes

So they can rest.


The soldier’s got big mahogany eyes

Just like mine.

Wide open, staring at

The trees above him

Just like I had done

Moments before.


He’s still sort of warm,

The soldier

But not breathing.

Baba’s voice echoes in my head,

So I slip my fingers down

And shift his eyelids over his eyes,

The soldier

Covering his coffee-colored orbs

From the world.

He’s in the special place now.

The soldier

He deserves his rest.


Words by Laone Coop

Photo by Hayley Owens