The War Photographer

July 23, 2010
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A long way to say goodbye
To those of us who pray
Set off with courage and excited jeers
The start of a brand new day

The bloodied battle maps seem easy
The thoughts of future pride
Ability to say ‘I was there’
‘And I really didn’t die’

The goal seemed simple and within reach
Fame and fortune abound
Funny just how easily
All that could turn around

For the king and his horse are close at hand
Frontlines so ominous, we wretch
We quiver, we cry, we close our eyes
Take a single, shaky breath

But to you who survive and break the lines
Of the miserable corpses strew
Click your camera, quickly then
It’s what you wanted to do

And as you capture in a flash
Sorrow thick to swallow
All the soldiers, theirs and ours
Fall in bodies hollow

The orphaned children scream
And foreign whispers pray
You who have survived thus far
Can only watch each day

A stander-by who can only observe
And record the terrible loss
Leak silent tears while framing fears
On heads the coin will toss

And you, so lucky, who make it home
With the trophies of pictured war
I hope you feel as you dreamed you would
From hence your heroic tour

But we who have fallen all know well
You who’ve returned so whole
You’re nothing but an empty shadow
An empty, shattered soul

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