This is inspired by an actual conversation that I had with a dear friend of mine who has just returned from Iraq on a two-week leave. He has already been there for ten months is due to return next week to serve another seven months. In my opinion, I feel this war is morally wrong.and These men …... This has become a killing field, not only for our brave soldiers, but for…...I can not go on…I am sorry…but… here is my poem.
He came by today, How long now has it been since he went away?
We shook hands and exchanged smiles; we spoke little at first,
You know, it has been awhile. I thought to myself “my, how he has aged.
I said without doubt, “man you look great”
Ten months in an Iraqi sun, avoiding a bullet, fighting on the run.
Sandstorms, sand fleas, camel spiders as big as puppies.
Children without homes and homes without children, men without
Sons and burying the dead when the evening is done.
These were but a few things his tired and now old eyes said.
Gone was the innocence that they once had.
He then smiled some more and dropped his head.
He began to Speak, but more softly now
I listened intently as he began to tell,
Of what it was like to be in war.
He spoke of bodies that lay by the road,
How after a few days in the hot desert sun
They would begin to bloat. He spoke of things
That we, in the comfort of our homes would never see,
Not on CNN or even NBC, and how it seems, that
No one even cares. He told me of his fears, yet he still managed
To speak of hope. He told of sand storms that
Would constantly blow, and he bit his lip as
He spoke of the night patrols.
So said I, choking back tears, not wanting to cry.
“How was it to once again see your family”?
I knew at once that I had hit the right chord, for
I saw the gleam return at once to his eye.
He began to tell me of his son who was but four
And now is five. He then pulled a worn and somewhat tattered
3x 5 from his wallets sleeve and began to chatter joyfully.
He told of church outings, and friends galore, yet I could tell
From the pain that ebbed from his voice, that he and many
Others did not want to study war no more. They wanted peace
Over this absurd insanity.
This piece is dedicated to all those whom are dedicated, those who do what they have to in spite of adversity. My hopes and my prayers will be with him and his.
I say this in closing, we all as a human race, must agree that we will study war no more.
J. Allen Wilson 10-10-2003