I sit on this airplane seat
beside an army guy

the age of my adored nephew,
and all I can think of is how I abhor war

imagining him sleeping
on some foreign frenzied battle field.

My heart squeezes
at how much I miss him
his bright blue eyes and wispy blond hair

thanking me for our weekly zoo excursions
during all those endless childhood years
now grown into taller trees.

Today he hides in faraway bushes
training to teach others to do the same.

I have lost the nephew I never had
as he succumbs to the trials

and traumas of combat
between compassionless countries

while I rock in my sorrowed salty tears
in anticipation of the bear hug

he might one day bestow
on my sexagenarian shoulders.

Diana Raab, PhD, is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, and author of 10 books and is a contributor to numerous journals and anthologies. Her two latest books are, “Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life,” and “Writing for Bliss: A Companion Journal.” Visit: www.dianaraab.com.