Wednesday, June 25, 2008


a violent boy
with a red-headed Irish temper
went to war
his gun repressed his anger
his rifle defined him
the grenade, lobbed far,
took bits of his rage with it
and exploded like fear

each step a step to madness
each bout of madness
stripped another layer of veneer
he laughed at death
and cursed the dead
both friend and foe
wondering at their smallness,
their insignificance

how could a man
be held in such a sad husk
he gloried in invincibility
that others might fall, but not him
death was all around him
and he killed always from a distance
crouching behind the splinter shield
of the twin fifties

he thought he knew death’s face
name, rank and number
though he had never brushed its hand,
then he met his enemy
stumbling over something soft
hearing the muffled groan
his rifle locked and loaded,
he met his enemy’s eyes

of course he pulled the trigger
it was what he was trained to do
but a moment of eternity passed there
and he learned fear
his red-headed temper swaggered still
yet he was a hollow man
living among other hollow men
each unaware of the others

he lived with this another 35 years
until his hand gave in 
to the call of the gun
he had bought for no certain reason
to clear his mind
and bring the circle to completion
through the stench and the haze
to where he met his enemy once more

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