Monday, July 22, 2013

To my brothers- and sisters-at-arms

Strangely, I am getting a lot of hits on this poem, first posted on April 24, 2013.  Here, by popular demand:

To my brothers and sisters at-arms (veterans)

“I will write the evangel poem of comrades and of love,
For who but I should understand love with all its sorrow and joy?
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?” --Whitman

That bitter, acrid taste that war
and combat leaves in your mouth -
cleaves your tongue -
and gives you a sixth sense about things…

For example, the guy out front:
the leader. Will he die for you?
If so, then you will die for him,
or live, make his mission yours,
and accomplish it.

But if he won’t,
and your sixth sense will tell you so,
then neither will you for him.
And his goal is his alone and can go to hell.

And if you are out in front,
will you die for the men and women
in your care?
If so, then they will die for you,
or live, and make your mission theirs,
and accomplish it.

But if not, you should quit faking
and just go home. Because those
behind you, in your charge, following you,
will already have a sixth sense of things.

No comments:

Post a Comment