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A Sandy Night Without Light: We were Soldiers We Were Students

Sestina: A Sandy Night Without Light: We were soldiers, we were students

I. It was the night of spring, 1991, when, we, the students, walked through a thick and dark jungle night-from China to India border. The night, when the stars and moon hide their dim light. Half on the way, the darkest night ever blinded my eyes, like a dark stike. No way to hide from the thorns, stones and snakes. I wished I could see in the night, but no light. The forest, with its strange smell, entertained us, giving a serious warning to my friend who groaned with a deadly roar.

II. "Leave me alone, leave me alone, let me die, please" groaned my friend, in the middle of a quite and silent night. Knowing the pain, all students harshly breathed. "Get up and walk," my friend was commended. "Let this forest be my grave" repeated my friend. All were aware of the danger of the night without sight. Two more hours to walk to the safe place, when I pulled my friend up from the ground, the sandy thorns inside my shoes doubled their merciless actions, tearing down my outer skins. We saluted the sharpen sand thru out the darkest night.

III. Inside the sandy river, up and down on the slope hill, we paved the way with our bloody shoes in the middle of the night. As though thorns penetrated his heart, my friend groaned and roared. No use of eyes or voice, but a bat's signal, to avoid thorns and danger, helped us. Beyond the capacity of physical body, all students extended the power of their inner souls. No torch no candle, but the darkness of the night overwhlemed the hearts and minds. With guns and rice in my back, no complaint, no murmur, but to walk thru the end of of the dark night forest.

IV. The blood inside my shoes wet my socks. The sharp surface of the forest increased the fear to move my foots ahead. The unknown future, like the way toward hell or annihilation. I forgot the taste of the day, when the night dazzled me. The sharpen sand never stop eating the skin of my toe. My friend, repeated his plea to let him choose his end. We were soldiers we were students. The echoes of the voices of the slaughtered innocents undermined the pains of the sandy thorns.

V. After more than 40 days of jungle travel by foot, the tiny sands inside my shoes became like iron thorns. Poisonous leaves, harmful creatures, thorny sedges, all ruled the forest. My wet body, never end dropping liquid from my body. Not like students of Universities, like a baby who never learned how to walk, the way we walked made me laugh. It was around 1:30 AM in the night, my friend threw himself on the ground, beside a tiny creek, if he reached his mother's home in the late night.

VI. Not yet a chance to pull my shoes off. The hour was like a fathomless night. Picking firewood, to make a student-medicine, I dragged the branches of dried thorns. Chinese tea leaves, salt and water from the creek, all made up for my friend to bind up our skinless toes. After a high combustion hot, salty and bitter mixture, a medicine of the forest, dressed up our skinless toes. A bitter-hot-and-salty-student-medicine prepared our feets and outter skins again for the way of tomorrow. A bitter mixture dried up and roasted the skinless toes of the Chin students.

VII. We lastly rested from the longest night until the next break of the day. Students had not learned how to walk in the night, had not learned how to walk the way of thorns. Students had not learned how to play politics the way a pig plays mud. The forest from China to India border made a soul-bounded tie among our friends-Chin students.
"We were students, we were soldiers"