Veteran's Day

November 17, 2008
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The time was nigh,
We begged for protection.
They stood up
And pledged their lives.
Strangers became allies
And were joined by a single cause.
Standing side by side
In uniformed lines,
Their camouflage blurred together
To create one big, breathing mass.
Its movements synchronized,
Its aim deadly accurate.
With shoulders nearly touching,
Their step was deft and sure.
Their footfalls echoed
In their ears as they marched
Down an endless road.
Their final destination,
Fully dependent on the marksmanship
Of their opponent.
Their emotions ran high,
With blood boiling in their veins.
Sickly-sweet sweat
Rolled down their necks
And the backs of their hands.
They silently crept,
The enemy becoming clear.
An order to ambush rang throughout
And they were quick to obey.
Weapons gripped tightly
And battle cries exploded from everywhere.
The moment of surprise was lost
In a hail of artillery.
They slashed through
The opposition
And obliterated their fears.
Adrenaline sank into
The core of every living body
and consumed the very marrow of their bones.
Blood filled the cracks in the pavement
And the grass turned a thick crimson color.
Comrades-in-arms fell,
As the light in their eyes dimmed
And stiffness captured their limbs.
The sounds of battle drowned them
And sucked the air out of their lungs,
Leaving them breathless.
Bullets whizzed past,
Shrapnel whirled to a target.
Straight and true.
A sickening thump was heard
As the shot hit home.
The shrieks and screams all molded together
To make an orchestra of wails
And stretched upwards to encompass the sky.
An everlasting symphony
Forever haunting
The survivors’ dreams,
Even when the blood ceases to spill
And the cries are no longer to be heard.
Strangers that became allies,
Laid side by side in uniformed rows.
Gravestones spanning
As far as the eye can see
Over peaceful farmland.
Blinding green and white cover the area,
Ironically contrasting with the memories
Of mottled brown and red.
Neat, clean cut grass becomes
Such a change from the soaked crimson.

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