The black steel. The blistered paint. The brownish dust.
The rust. The humming. The wires mixed up like wet
spider web. The yellow tape around. The hot, orange sun.
The lonely birds. The gently breeze. The young man
approaching carefully. The heavy boots. The small, grey
rocks. The shrieking of the gods. The fear. The young man
leaning forward. The eyes and the sweat. The trembling
fingers. The heavy suit. The memories of the high-minded
knights. The helmet. The pliers. The uncertainty. The seconds.
The hesitation. The vacillation. The flash of the Gordian
knot. The silence. The bomb disposal robot. The mechanical
sound. The extending of the metallic arm. The heavy body.
The lifting. The seconds. The beads of sweat dripping from
the forehead. The jamming. The silence. The static in the radio.
The orders. The memories of home and baby crib. The pliers.
The decision. The short prayer. The stillness. The moment.
The cut. The blast. The silence. The silence. The silence.
Author’s commentary: I grew up in the communist regime. At that time all the men in my country were forced to join and serve in the army for 1.5 or 2 years. It was the law, and it was the same for me. I served in the army for one year and a half. After that I did not want to seek military career. In ‘89 communism fell all around the world. But a lot of my comrades continued with their military service. And they went to war: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Cambodia, etc. One of them told me this story about one of our fellow-countryman, sapper that served in the bomb-disposal unit in Afghanistan. The poem is his story.