The Missing Man
A young, terrified soldier lies in the dirt fighting a useless war.
He hides from the raging battle, he hides from his fear.
Friends die to the left; a friend dies to the right.
What to do, what to see, where to go, what to fight.
Unseen enemies hurl death in his direction.
Bits of earth are tossed into the air.
A weapon is gripped tightly in hand.
Should he, should he.
Through the darkness, he sees friends die.
Bursts of white reveal flashes of red.
His ears ring from the near constant detonations.
Can he, can he.
Another thunderous crash.
Dirt splatters on his face, choking him.
He’s had enough.
Anger crushes his fear,
He crawls from the pit.
Around and over, over and through he crawls.
He readies himself,
Pulling the weapon into position, he aims.
He sees a face, a face in the flashes.
The face sees him, fear resurges.
Do it, do it.
Triggers are pulled, more flashes, more flashes.
For an instant; silence overtakes the scene.
A quiet in the chaos.
Then a telltale moaning of injured men, dying boys.
On a small hill, a young man’s life drains into the dirt.
A young, frightened hero.
At home, a favorite chair is empty.
At the funeral, a coffin is draped with a symbol.
Family gather to remember, to grieve and console.
Overhead a trio of jets roars
One is missing, the symbol.
The missing man.
Copyright.Bruce Alan Humphrey