An Ode to the Thirteen

By Neera Kuckreja Sohoni

A mother (Not a birther) bore you

Cocooned within her for nine laborious months

Guarding you from external or internal danger

Only to lose you

In the service of an unending war

with an amorphous enemy

That lurks behind every corner of that arid unwelcoming land

Where dust gathers on shattered limbs and bodies

And blood is used to water jihadist dreams and hate-spewing greens.

Of what use life when cut off in prime?

Fodder – to senseless rage and

Shredding power of a vile bomb…?

No part of you will return

that can talk to me

Never again

No laughing eyes and embracing arms that can give me strength

No grandkids running around in my backyard calling for mommy or daddy

None in whose eyes I can look for your reflection

No sound ever for your father and me to hark

No phone ring no text message no facebook visage

Just the deafening silence of a senseless loss

A death sentence with full state honors

awarded to us

Consigning us to life without parole

Without execution

No rope, electric chair, or lethal liquid to still our bleeding hearts

But the freedom solely

To live our loss

To mourn a pointless end to a promising irreplaceable life.


13 bravehearts including 2 women

who fell in the terror attack in Kabul

Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo

Sgt. Nicole L. Gee

Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover

Cpl. Hunter Lopez

Cpl. Daegan W. Page

Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez

Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza

Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz

Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum

Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola

Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui

Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak

Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy AFP)

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