The colonel raised me to be great.
As tall as was he—a giant of a man.
Handsome and clever,
a winner of confidence,
I was his favorite son.
I played the role, but lost myself
in one who broke my heart by leaving.
Then, as so many others who fled
during those dangerous times,
my best friend of a lifetime went away,
the two of them leaving me with no support.
I fell victim to the flattery of a tyrant
and chose the wrong side.
Then, knowing my end was near,
I refused to run
but met my fate—
A bullet delivered by that Surafel, a childhood friend
who himself was caught by the Derg and brutally killed.
“Hero of the Revolution” my caption read,
yet they buried us both, as so many others,
in an unmarked grave.
My father wept and grew old,
my whole family collapsing in on itself.
By what miracle,
forty years later
in a land 9,000 miles away,
did my former love
hear my whole story
and write these lines?
For NaPoWriMo Day 8, the prompt was to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write my own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.