David R. “Poppa” Alexander

ONE LOSS TOO MANY

Standing in the slimy marsh
Waiting for relief from the weather so harsh
Contact is a daily occurrence
Believing that this whole thing is a mental transference.

Rain, filth, steam, leeches and bugs
The heavy load that one lugs
A jump at every sound
Peace, sleep and rest can’t be found.

It’s been such a long time
To see my family is a dream of mine
But the reality of war rushes back with a shock
When a bullet misses and strikes a rock.

No one is safe it seems
No escape from this hell even in your dreams.
How long have we been strangled by war
Now the rain begins to pour.

Wrinkled, cracked and bloody feet filled with pain
Cloths that are caked with filth and wet with rain
Thirty young men on an unending mission
Seems it only ends with deaths permission.

Last night we lost one of our own
An old timer named Sergeant Sloan.
He was an old timer I guess you would say
He turned thirty years old just the other day.

No time to think about that now
We have to get out of here but I don’t know how.
It’s up to me to find a way to a clearing for relief
A mere twenty years old with twenty-nine men what grief.

If only I had listened and studied more carefully
Maybe I would be fit to be lead more logically.
These men are depending on me
My hope is that my despair they can’t see.

With a desperate effort and a simple plan
We must find a way for the choppers to land.
Fifteen days without relief or support
These men of mine are brothers of a sort.

Now I awaken from the same dream
To late to change a single thing.
I live with this same guilt
No one can change the pain I felt.

Oh, we got out with only one loss they say
But I wonder if his family would feel this way.
The one lost like so many before
Mounts and multiplies with each like the one before.