The submissions this past month brought two things into perspective, Memorial Day and spring love. Both remind us how vulnerable human relationships can be. I've selected two first place winners for May. One in gritty detail honors the men and women who challenge themselves daily to protect our precious democracy and keep America strong. The other gives us a breath of spring and a reminder of the innocence of human love.
Our first winner is Mary Ivey. Mary's work is no stranger to those of you who follow our blog. She has placed in several of my contests. An artist, a poet, a writer of science fiction, Mary shows other talents in this month's winning piece.
Mary remind us that life is a valuable gift that should not be wasted but too often is in the name of the greater good, which no one in history has been able to fully explain. Every country has its own definition. It's a reminder that those defending our freedoms are still very human indeed.
It is quiet now; the guns have ceased their booming. Through the pouring rain, I see figures moving, checking bodies to see if any still live. Today we were victorious; God only knows what tomorrow will bring.
I huddle into my slicker, trying to find some inner place where I'll be able to shut out the horrors of the war.
I imagine myself back on the farm. The sun is shining. My mother's flower garden by the front porch is just starting to bloom. My sister Amelia is playing with a friend from a neighboring house. I can smell pies baking—
"Up and at 'em! We're moving the camp!"
My Captain's voice cuts through my reverie like a knife. I get to my feet and follow him. Impressions left in the earth by his boots fill with rainwater, dyed red.
May God bless those who save the rest of us.