The Truth About War

May 30, 2011
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The truth lies in the unnoticed objects:
eyes, a hook of grass, and blisters

War is talked about, written on, cried for, but never understood.
“Bullets, bombs, dead carcasses everywhere…”
Check, check, check.
But could you imagine looking into the eyes of a stranger,
recently vacant, and see history in his swampy eyes?
The little questions strike you.
Which coffee shop did he go to? What was his favorite color?
Tiny strands that link you to this dead man,
to his blood and soul,
a soldier who died true
and made you wish, hope, pray that you could do the same,
A wife, children, waiting for a letter never to come
by the man with swampy eyes.

War is like an alarm clock.
You work and fight and bleed time away until the power runs out.
That is when your alarm sounds and your heart turns white.
But until then, you and your blood, not yet spilled, are alone in the field,
waiting desperately for Death to push the Snooze button.
Miracles seem like dreams in war, but a patch of yellow grass
is more than a miracle,
rather an angel hidden with you from enemy’s sight
in the tall, dream-like stalks,
God has caged you and prison is the happiest place you can think of,
like one pale star against dusk., you lie in a haven from Death.

War is a marathon, ran against will, won to keep your will,
but the finish line grants memories that
dig into your legs like demons.
You think thoughts that the race is over, which are falsely written,
for war is part one to an eternal pain,
a pain as red as your blisters,
throbbing, aching blisters
like the poisoned sky on the battlefield,
but you didn’t have the strength to run anymore and
you could feel your alarm clock ticking away.
The war had drained you, and left you sitting in the strainer,
to be pecked at by vultures and die slowly, painfully,
but you can’t fight anymore.

Your power has run out.
Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick…
Your alarm has rung

…and your heart has turned white.

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