Monday, March 14, 2011

Mortar Fire and the Sound of Independence (Soldier Chronicle Volume Three)

Mortar fire and the sound of independence
Sky lit in brilliance
Reminds me of our endeavor,
As if I would ever convince myself otherwise

I forgot the names by now,
I wish I would have paid attention
Gave camaraderie a try,
Yet then, well I would also

The beaches coveted the brush,
This jungle from all sides,
Thick entanglements of plants, trees, vines,
And bugs, so many bugs,

Footmarks led pathways I would fear to see,
Who, and what would they steer towards me,
Estranged, weeks perhaps,
How the body changes when left unattended,

My escape was a stumble upon,
Some lucky hacks hidden in the brush,
Tree supporting their covert lifestyle,
Scared kids with ink long gone,
Waiting for a bus to fly them home,
At that point, then,
I offered nothing but a plea to join their crusade,
Most accepting those writers were,
Having me around set them at ease,
Guess they felt safer with a man like me, around,
Appearances cast deeper images than our words suggest,
And the weapon,
I enjoyed their spirits, albeit reminding them it really was myself against,
But their spirits were higher than when I arrived, therefore I didn’t have the
Heart to tell them I was out,

I met them by luck,
But luck is not what got me to them,
It was disobedience that saved my life,
The lieutenant announced we’d be coming in from atop,
Surprise that morning, glory all night,
I explained my ears were keen,
And I know familiar sounds over the hill,
My gut instructed me to disobey what I knew was right,
What I was trained to do,
And so I dropped below as they rose above,
Seconds later I heard the firefight,
I heard the enemy swarm past me, as I hid myself away,
I returned and buried the dead, all of them but myself,
I heard it then I hear it now,
If only I’d listened, the families claim I could have saved them all,
I know better, which is not to say obeying was the wrong command to follow,
Each day now, since then, I see their excitement in their eyes,
For by their hands some unnamed assailants would die,
I tried to explain, I told them, but again I say they were close to one another,
I was merely a clinging shadow, they didn’t care to know, one they avoided
If only I made an attempt perhaps a different ending there would be
To this horrible tale I live to tell.

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