Gary Jacobson


I’m just a grunt
The hound dog in this grim fray sent to hunt
Brothers decreed by fate predestined, to be blunt
Together we brave Satan and his legions brunt
Flung from the mouth of guns and fear
Ordained to lead the charge on the point of the spear
Death’s first gurgling sounds to hear
Bearing blood and guts of fighting’s burden
We grunts, just beasts of war backpacking verdant Eden.

I’m just a grunt
In truth forsooth, ever at battle’s front
In war’s story the heroic protagonist
Seeking Nam’s contentious antagonist
Humping through fragrant jungle glen
Where killing first is no sin
Hearing discordant cannon’s roaring din
Searching for wily Viet Cong cunning
Shadowy fugitives in this manhunt mesmerizing.

I’m just a grunt
Haggard and gaunt
First in line facing an enemy ogre’s taunt
Forevermore daunting evil discouraging
Things I’ve seen and done forever haunting
Taking blood up close and personal on my spear
Sobbing tears crying of anguish firsthand hear
Multiplying that in the pit in my soul fear
Dreaming of things back in the world held dear.

I’m just a grunt, America’s seed
Delivering the birth of democracy’s creed
With eye of an eagle and a lion’s heart
Brave liberty to impart
With strong back and mighty brawn
I’m just war’s emaciated and haggard pawn
pell-mell into the maw of battle drawn
With steely nerve and fiber’s sinew
With surly courage that bleeds red, white and blue
Sent to fight with all that’s in you.

I’m just a grunt
On the hellish side of gaunt
Smiling through lips tight as barbed-wire
Proffering guns for hire
When conditions are dire
A walking munitions dump
Sent the valley of death to hump
Through war’s cordite pungent smell
Giving a primal savage yell.

I’m just a grunt
Forevermore faces of men I’ve killed will haunt
Dreaming of awful fire and brimstone noise
Possessed by the sight of bulwarks manned by youthful boys
Oblivious to Charlie’s lusty leering taunt
Heedless of war’s little gambit through hell jaunt
Every night in memory I birds of steel remount
Flying again to war on an iron steed stout
Plagued by brothers fallen in mud and blood recount.

I’m just a grunt
Without me there would be no war, no doubt
For I see all with eagle eye of a marksman supreme
Telling tales of infamy in mud and blood extreme
Determined to survive back to the world to bask
Put on for awhile the savage mask
Stained forever by war’s bloodthirsty task
Forevermore to questions ask…
Why did my brother have to die?
And not I? Why?

I’m just a grunt
Who still every night fights embroiled in Nam’s hunt
Still dancing with war’s fiendish demon
Still nobly searching for rhyme or reason
Seeing again dead brother’s faces
With cacophonies battle vibrations my blood still races
Survived back to the world with brothers to cheer
Forevermore sounds of battle’s fatigue I hear
Back in the fire the cradle of my heart to sear.