It never goes away

The man lays sprawled flat,
arms outstretched
the ooze of blood from multiple gunshots to his chest
long since dry
his face expressionless

“It’s best if we cut this paragraph,
leave only the part that really matters,” my editor says.

I remember how I labored to obtain the photo of that man,
how I pasted it on a report I sent in to my command
only to be told that it would be better to remove
both the photo and the paragraph explaining it

The general did not wish to sensationalize death,
or so that was how it was explained to me

Years after this deployment, I no longer wear a uniform,
instead I write stories for a small local newsroom yet,
the man from that photo keeps coming back
every time my editor presses me:

“Man, dispense with the details, just stick to the facts.”

Author: Will Schick

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