The Popcorn Farm - Issue 1: Winter 2013

Page 7

Caroline Johnson This Old Soldier I am sitting in your wheelchair. It is dusk. We are watching the film, “300,” a bloody battle between 300 Spartan soldiers and one million Persians. I ask if it is okay to put a bronze rose etched into pink granite on your wife’s grave. King Leonidas helps his scant soldiers build a wall around Thermopylae to contain the numerous enemy. “How does this work?” you ask, fumbling for the remote. Leonidas refuses the Persians’ request to lay down his weapons. You tell me you want no cross on your grave. Xerxes watches as his faithful Persian soldiers are slaughtered by a barrage of arrows. I forget how hard it must be, to fight for your life with all you’ve got, using the only weapons you have ever known from this chair.