I remember the photos,

still images from a security camera,

a border guard realizing that his day

had gone horribly wrong.

I’m sure he went to work

the way he always did,

put on his uniform with a wry salute

to the blue-yellow banner.

There was a defect in the footage,

the man’s face, paled I’m sure

but made bakelite-orange,

a reflection from his magazine.

Did he fire his rifle,

AK-47, Kalashnikov’s piece,

a beauty, still full of grease,

or did he drop it in the snow?

I’ll always wonder if he survived,

new pictures come every day,

but one bedraggled soldier

is so like another and I cannot tell the difference.

The apartments lie in ruins

and photographers snap pictures

of children playing in the rubble,

and of the bodies,

the bodies

the bodies.

The Bodies

John Rutherford works at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX and has been published in the Texas Poetry Assignment, the Concho River Review and Z Publishing's Best New and Emerging Poets of Texas.