A young boy

perhaps four or five years old

stares at the framed images

in his father’s study

General Washington Crossing the Delaware

a movie poster from PATTON

a framed jersey, signed by pro-bowl tackle

Darth Vader locking light sabers with Luke

Conan victorious on a mountain of skulls

there are more, but these are the images

the young boy understands

so he picks up a toy gun

or sword

or stick

and plays the hero

killing the bad guys

he never stops to think that the

bad guy

was once a little boy

four or five years old

looking at the framed images

in his father’s study

images of John Wayne

Silvester Stallone

James Bond

The Terminator

who then picked up a toy gun

or sword

or stick

and played the hero

killing the bad guys

they never thought of the

bad guys.

Not then.

Not five years later.

Not ten years later.

Not twenty or thirty years later.

Life is funny like that:

life doesn’t matter

when heroes are involved.

 

 

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