To Die Like a Man

by Leon Jackson Davenport

I can feel the sun's rays shining on my face as the commander stretches out his hands and ties the blindfold around my head. “Attention!” In these last few moments of life I’m gripped by the realization (fear) that my legacy will not be worth a passing thought; I who only wanted to be a farmer, to seed, nurture and harvest the crops that God so lovingly put in my charge; I who only wanted to take care of my family, help and respect my neighbors; (was) thrust into the path of history; (had to) stand up for myself; (demand) respect for being; fight back (win); all that matters now is the sun on my face telling me it will be a good day in the fields, plenty of work, luscious bounty from God; all that matters now is the blindfold on my face telling me I‘ve seen my last morning. “Parade ready, take aim!” Breathe, damn you, (in and out - one); I’ve failed my wife, my children, my people, (in and out - two); I’ll not cry or beg, because another everyman-hero shall be raised up and take the place I didn’t want, carry the mantle I couldn’t shoulder, stand and suffer until we win; all that is left for me is to die like a man. “Fire!”


Leon Jackson Davenport, an occasional short story writer, lives in New Jersey but enjoys thinking about being somewhere else. He is the author of R.L. Leonard, Deceased.