twelve years old

bored student in an overheated classroom
reluctant soldier indoctrinated in war

monthly soirées at the country club
daily drills in shooting things

cool leather crossbody bag to complete the outfit
a bomb strapped to the chest

watching the latest Hollywood release
witnessing the brutal death of a bunk mate

sleeping in a bed in a house, with pets and parents
resting in a ditch with a gun, ants and other scared young boys

tomorrow i turn thirteen



Today I was struck by the stark contrast in the lives of people on planet Earth.  I thought of two boys, growing up in completely different environments.  Maybe they are both 12 years old.  Maybe they have their birthdays on the same day.   One lives in secure comfort and takes his life for granted.  The other is a child soldier, probably an orphan forced into service.