I flew to desolate fire bases
filled with the tools of war
and the men who used them.
It was my job to perform the miracle
of making the war disappear
(however briefly) for boys who had been trained to kill.
It was my mission to raise the morale
of children who had grown old too soon
watching friends die.
It was my calling
to take away fear and replace it with hope;
to return sanity to a world gone insane.
I was the mistress of illusion
as I pulled smiles from the dust and heat,
the magical genie of “back-in-the-world”
as I created laughter in the mud.
But when the show was over
I crawled back into my bottle
and pulled the cork in tightly behind me.