War

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 15:47 -- cannse

Location

Trotting through the hot narrow alley, rifle on my back.

My companion to my left: Richard, I think.

The sound of gunfire boiling in the distance.

Nervous, we glance around and move quickly down the sandy street.

Buildings closing in, crushing us from either side.

Then, lobbed from the window above, the grenade lands in our path.

Time freezes.

I know not why we’re here to kill these people.

In a war I don’t believe in, fighting strangers that never wronged me.

I will never know the name of the man who threw the grenade, nor he, mine.

I forgive him.

All I know is the man next to me: Richard, I think.

He probably has a home.

Tears may be shed in distant lands as a result of the next two seconds.

And as a Roman swordsman, a musketeer, an American soldier,

fights not for his general, nor even for his country,

but in the end, for the man to his left and his right,

I too, am human.

Conditioned by my mother, my father, my ancestors, my three-year old daughter,

I lay down upon the grenade as I so often

used to lay down to nap in my hammock

in my sanctuary beneath the golden trees back home.

But I have saved a man: Richard, I think.

He will live on in his life, hopefully do great things.

The sun beats down from an open, blue sky.

The air quivers, immobile.

A second passes, an hour, a century.

The grenade explodes, blasting through my peaceful body, killing us both.

This

is war.

Comments

Dr. James

I'm speechless!  This poem truly embodies the emotional and mental factors that are thrust upon a soldier in our time in which violence is constantly promoted and the brutal reality of warfare is seldom recognized.  This is a masterpiece.

amber_lehua

Breathe taking..

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