Mark Campbell

NOTHING

It's warm, dead, barren
Nothing for hundreds of miles except us
For those of us out here, the chosen few
Life becomes a ritual, which never strays much
Just one thing after another
In which to stray a bit brings a little comfort
And a sense of normality to this tragic chapter in our lives
But we soldier on, as the saying goes, as normal
Living, sweating, sleeping to the chorus of time and to a tight schedule
At night before we drift asleep we look at the sky
And feel the welcome cool of the night on our battered bodies
As we gaze about to count our blessings by the stars, we fall asleep
To awaken to another day of this life

Author’s Note: Written while on active duty during the first Gulf War