by Todd Davidson
My father died by his own hand. He held his breath, closed his eyes and ripped the cutting edge of an eight-inch Mark 2 combat knife across his throat. He had walked six days through mud and shit and bamboo to find the girl he chose to abandon as fire devoured her village.
“I came to beg your forgiveness,” he told the woman in broken Vietnamese. But her shivering children, with bloated bellies and hollow eyes, said it was hardly enough.
“I can give you more time with them. Say you have killed a pig.”
“Yes, mister. Thank you, mister.”