Charles J. Ingerson

THE SOLDIER

Brotherhood of the SoldierPart I:

Wearied by the beatings
sometimes the retreatings
civilians and bleatings
officers in many meetings.

We’ve taken as the knights
defending others rights
finding peace in nights
understandings of fights.

On crusades of others
politicians without brothers
red-tape paper cutters
untainted loud strutters.

Part II:

Protecting freedom(s)(?)
from those who command
protecting the kingdom
wanting to understand.

With orders we march away
from glen, vale and home
while they flags display
our families left alone.

Spouses, families, friends
look at us as anywhere
heroes or fools it depends
while we know despair.

Part III:

Always forward, forward
to the fight and foe
no thought of a reward
in a Nation free to grow.

Sometimes within a night
we scare all around
the screams of fright
a hellish foreign sound.

Withholding all we think
until when wet with sweat
checking the parameters link
once more the watch is set.

Part IV:

At home in the fields
knowing who was on our side
your pledge to never yield
a sacred honor to abide.

Watching our flanks and ahead
your ‘six’ covered hopefully
not wanting to be dead
moments linger desperately.

Risking always as we serve
but also knowing another
getting what we deserve
perversely even a brother.

Part V:

Side by side each night
when sleep if it ever comes
evolved within this plight
hearing distant soft drums.

To end up again once more
in swamps forsaken somewhere
or in fighting another war
with memories unable to share

Bent more on going to hell
so others don’t need too
harder becomes our shell
while on the outside cool.

Part VI:

May this find you my sisters
or my brothers beyond the veil
when coming graveyard visitors
Memorial Day to tell your tale.

Some still here on earth today
better than we’ve been before
although as seeking to stray
it’s protestors to now ignore.

Knowing it’s a soldier’s wish
as foolish are the leaders still
filling some empty old dish
asking us this mission to fill.

Part VII:

To SNCO’s or Officer’s on watch
pray take care to train my friends
and your replacements to dispatch
able to accomplish freedoms ends.

The judgment of fools and money
unable to recognize love, family,
honor, obedience, God, Country
and what freedom means really

Soldiers are youth beginning
in an era of bloodshed known
young women and men grinning
will they see children grown.

Part VIII:

Since the entwining of time
with different places and names
people pass the graves in line
of the toll freedom claims.

Maybe they’ll pause and look
reading slow the inscriptions
understanding the cost it took
the few words of descriptions.

But with the same results
the rancor of elections heard
criticizing and finding faults
of these sacrifices absurd.

Part IX:

‘Let the other SOB die for his
country, you live for ours,’
instead of some protesters hiss
while placing on new flowers.

The soldier is laid to rest
the field white to harvest
each have passed this test
in freedom they did invest.

Can I or a we now do the same
or will all be heard to claim
I don’t know of freedom’s name
soon to find another to blame?

Part X:

Never to know of the calm
never to share Gilead’s Balm
never hearing the 23rd Psalm
never requiting fear’s qualm.

The maze of history read
fields covered once in red
piles were found the dead
down this path many led.

Soldiers in wars once fought
who with sabers were caught
seeking freedoms to be sought
memories now left to be taught.