Charles J. Ingerson

(For Veterans Everywhere)

Slipping and sliding
such fun to find
in childhood abiding
reflection to remind

But with rifle in hand
not quite the same
land mines understand
have no one’s name.

Running in the rain
mother screaming
at the windowpane
again I’m dreaming.

Fear is it that I follow
as tears are streaming
and men die as fallow
war and earth cleaning.

Where did childhood go
is it somewhere found
will as an adult I know
or is it hidden all around?

Fetal my position in mud
making myself so small
hoping to avoid a slug
wishing I were 3” tall.

Then with a whiteness
snow fell on this day
Christmas out of darkness
rain no longer to stay.

Yet still it rains incessant
each bone and sinew chilling
knowing the enemy present
intent only on me killing.

Seems like so much fun
why do we have to go in
we’ve the presents all done
and now with warmth within.

Crawling ever closer away
no sound emitted as such
just in silence to pray
asking for warmth’s touch.

We’re going caroling, okay
such happiness at Christmas
so much fun to just play
and in wonder to hands clasp.

No carols this year to sing
no snow in which to run
just rain and silence ring
on Christmas day begun.

Slipping and sliding
such fun to sustain
in childhood abiding
reflection to remain