Up at dawn and eager to see the day's end,
I am horrified at the sight of my friend.
Obliterated in one burst of light,
I shutter to imagine he is nowhere in sight.
Enraged at what I see,
I wonder if death is the only way we shall be free?
The hours seem to be told from fragments of the dead,
For as the sunsets, I feel it fitting that the sky turns crimson
While others retreat to their covers to sleep,
I see what hell has come to reap.
The thunder of war howls at every turn,
Warning me that I may never return.
The ghastly visions that haunt my mind,
Are fueled by the dead bodies I find.
I have come to this land of death and woe,
Where even we can't tell who is friend or foe.
For every blast or zip of sound,
Finds another dead body laid on the ground.
The stench of death surrounds my smell,
Telling me I am not on earth but in hell.
For every soldier that I knew by name,
I wonder if he had to die for a political game.
Sons of many, fathers of few,
Thought they knew what they had to do.
If I ever escape from this place of pain,
I feel normal life would be a halting strain.
With nothing to do but kill and survive,
I wonder if as a civilian I can thrive.
How can I see the innocence in a child's eye,
When every day I see another die.
For there is no rest in the night,
All my dreams are haunted with another deadly sight.
My feet are worn from long marches of the day,
And my lips are chapped from the words I pray.
Until I die, or this war comes to an end,
I feel loneliness and death shall be my only friend.
by Robert Lee Niswander
... who, having been a cook and now working in sales, has been
writing poetry since adolescence; his poem Story Teller of
Fate appeared in Timeless Mysteries as his