combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 03 Number 01 Winter ©Jan 2005

A Soldier's Psalm in this Time of the Iraqi War
for Lieutenant Timothy C. Lawton (3rd Infantry Division)

      Your truth, O Lord, my shield shall be;
      Under your wings shall I trust
      Your flanks within,
      Drenched with smoke and dust.
      Soldiers see through this war
      Chastened by each death.

      War's steps take hold on America
      Lest enemies be filled with strength,
      Who wash down their cries with blood
      As if gorging bitter grapes.
      Soldiers see through this war
      Glimpsed like a shade's face.

      When will this war end?
      Not with the sweep of a hand.
      Comrades with comrades know
      With bandaged temples and hands.
      Soldiers see through this war
      On a plain of sand.

      O Lord I shall not be afraid
      By the terror of the night;
      Nor by the hate that torches
      The length of daylight.
      O keep my soul still, Lord,
      For depths worse than hell.

by James Wm. Chichetto
... who is a freelance poet, with eight books of verse to his credit, and works appearing in The Native American Poetry Anthology, The First Abbey Wood Anthology, The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, The Colorado Review, Gargoyle, The Manhattan Review, Poem, The Paterson Review. He is related to combat veterans of the Korean War and World War Two; and teaches writing and literature at Stonehill College.