She walks leaning heavily
On the wooden cane.
She’s come a long way
Since she came back from
Broken and Bloodied.
She’d never be put back together again.
She remembered those first few days
Conscious in a blur
Remembered running to the aid
Of a terrified boy
A soldier not ready to die.
She had saved his life
But nearly lost hers
She saw legs with size eight combat boots
A few feet from her and knew
Instantly what had happened.
She didn’t drift out until they
Had stabilized her
She remembered being loaded into the air ambulance
Quietly praying she’d survive
Then she drifted off to a place she was free of pain.
She woke up to strange sounds
And a familiar face
Her baby sister Courtney who was terrified of planes
Had flown to be with her.
It was hard those first weeks
To simply stay awake.
Your body healed when you slept
She knew that
But nothing could give you amputated limbs back.
When she was stabilized once more
She was sent back to the states
To Walter Reed Hospital
Her sister always by her side.
She had a long road ahead of her
She knew that
But Cheyenne was no stranger to hard Work.
Giving up was not an option
She was a Soldier, broken and battered
But she had survived.
During those moments
She felt utterly broken
Remembering that Desert
And it’s danger
But it’s beauty too
Always had a way of lifting her up.
She’d close her eyes
And see a child’s hands reach out
For a Chocolate bar
A luxury so many couldn’t afford.
Some thought of that place
As Hell but Cheyenne saw the beauty there.
“Someday I’m going back,
Not as a soldier
But I can do something to help.”
“I’ll go with you
Courtney said.” Not a doubt
In her mind her sister would do as she said.
It took her months, but she learned
To walk again
On legs of titanium and plastic
Only a hand carved wooden cane as her aid.
To Be Continued In On A Dime
On A Dime
He held out a hand eagerly
Dirty and broken
An old dog his only companion.
It hadn’t been long ago
He had been a mere boy
A soldier at eighteen
He had nearly died
In that far off land.
She nearly walked passed him
Then she looked him in the eye
That Boy Soldier from a lifetime ago
Though it had only been a few years.
The years had been not kind
And her heart hurt.
Life hadn’t been kind
She reached into her purse
For a couple of twenties then
Realized she needed to do something More.
She handed him the twenties
But had something bigger on her mind.
Life had been good to her
Even with what she had lost
On that Desert Sand.
“I know you.” He said
A glint of recognition in his eyes
“You saved my life.
I thought you had died.”
“As you can see
I am very much alive.
What happened to bring you here?”
“Life can change on a Dime.” He said
“And mine changed for the worse.
She shook her head
“This won’t do
No soldier should sleep in the streets.”
She led him to a hotel room
She rented for two weeks
By then she’d find a more permanent Solution.
“It looks like you did
Well for yourself.”
She reached in her bag and
Handed him a book
Titled “On Desert Sand, and soon he Realized despite everything
She had done well for herself.
“Thank you.” He said
As she walked out the door
On two feet that weren’t her own.
True to her word just two weeks
Later she came back to the hotel room
Where he had been staying.
Helped him gather his few belongings
And led him to her car.
“You drive?” He asked
“Yes hand controls.” She laughed.
Before long they pulled into a driveway
A tiny house
Full of all the necessary amenities.
She handed him the keys
“This is your’s.” She said
And then pointed to an F150 in the
Driveway “That’s yours too.
This isn’t a handout
But a hand up she said.
“And when you get back on your feet
You can Pay it Forward.”
He smiled at her
“Once again you save my life.
Once again everything changes on a Dime.”
(C) Michelle R Kidwell