Front-Line Soldier

Front-Line Soldier

 

I hear that being put upon the front line is an honor.

Great men, tell great tales, of daring deeds

Impossible situations 

Narrow escapes

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

 

Keep firing

 

Keep firing

 

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

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