Bright light, whiter than the sun,
glittered for an instant
before the sound split my ears
and I dissolved,
my last and only thought
that no one would know
I had come home.

Years later, my daughter
paused on a remote sidewalk
and stared down at my shadow,
which had been seared into the pavement.
She thought of me,
lost in an era of misguided honor,
and wondered where I had gone.