Charles J. Ingerson

LEST WE DARE

Hearing of the cry
where troops have gone
good soldiers will die
words sung in song.

Left unheard feeling
lone the harsh times
traitors found stealing
names in long lines.

Lest we dare dismiss
those left behind
may death give one kiss
shown so unkind.

Missing in action
wars forgotten
unknown a fraction
in graves rotten.

Korea or Nam
Congo or Guam
flags fluttering calm
no Gilead’s balm.

How many are lost
who need to know
Hell’s horrible cost
grief now to grow?

Lest we dare give up
cherished writ
in lamenting cup
damnation’s pit.

(Addendum:

Lying fallow death
strangely missing
tasting no more breath
heard this hissing.

Find us once again
dead and hidden
knowing to begin
whispers bidden.

Lest we dare refuse
wars ghastly goal
these lives to abuse
stealing a soul.)