I hear that being put upon the front line is an honor.
Great men, tell great tales, of daring deeds
And they say they'd do it all again
Just for the feeling, they repeat over and over.
That fleeting feeling that makes you think you're flying
Sharp liquid ice and acid, running through your veins
The North Wind howling in your head
And a thrill so great it drowns all other emotions
But I don't see it that way.
To me it is a death sentence.
As I sit about, fiddling with a charred piece of wood,
Pondering my new predicament
With a scared, disoriented mind that is not up to the job
Many of my comrades come up and pat my back
Like they think it will ease my pain.
But my fury is deeper, a hot flame burning inside me
That shivers instead of roaring
It is a flame colored blue, fueled by the terror and knowledge
Of inevitable death
Which cannot be extinguished by people's fake sympathy
Nor warm hugs from friends
Which only heats up the flame more
With a start I realize I am shedding tears now
The charred wood now a fine dust in my hands
Blacker than night
The next morning gives me time enough to bid my good friends goodbye
Yet not time enough for thought
As I am up and gone with the other unfortunate
For a long trek
Crossing open, exposed grassy hills
Where the only thing standing between me and a stray bullet
Is another man;
(What a fearful thought.)
I clutch my rifle closer; it is my only friend now,
My shield from the sharp claws of Fear and Panic.
Though I do land some comfort
Seeing that my comrades' grips on their weapons
Are as tight as mine;
Seeing that I am not alone.
A gunshot rings out
My mind empties
The void of silence, of suspense,
Which was heavy moments before
Fills with a strength more intense
Than a fearsome lion's roar!
The enemy surges over the hills
Emitting sparks bright as the sun;
Around me, bodies fall and still
Before I can draw my gun!
Amidst the chaos, I hear a shout
Which tugs me back to Earth
I fully take my rifle out
And shoot for all I’m worth!
My mind screams along with the crowd
A chill sears through my spine
I can take down this army, the world by myself
I’ve never felt so alive!
Although my mind is foxed
I find that this is the feeling
Which I have heard recounted so oft
And yet I was never believing
The battle rages on
Death flies, never-tiring
One repeated shred of thought
Operates my addled head
As I see my good friends who, on the ground, bleed
My innermost consciousness angrily yells
To run, to hide, surrender, concede
But for some reason my body rebels
Even when confronted with hundreds of soldiers
Even though I know my life faces closure
I keep my composure
I keep my exposure
My rifle I shoulder
I continue to fire
I am a front-line soldier