Gary Jacobson


O here they come again… clashing memories galore
Marching one-by-one of raging days I fought the bloody war
Rushing in, flooding in, how can I ever fight it?
I cannot hear above it gnashing… how can I ever right it?

I see my marching brothers
Beloved sons, beloved fathers
Standing so hickory straight and tall
What a picture, laughing and joking all.

Then there’s silence, as from the cobwebs of sleep I awaken
Visibly shaken
Pictures in my memory, like pages from a book, start to burn
Fire flicking, licking at the edges as I toss and turn.

I reach in desperation, try to save them
White heat too intense in seething mayhem
Distorted images curling, features, bursting in fires bloom
Like blackening toast, my buddies faces the fire does consume.

Helplessly I writhe in pain
Watching helplessly in vain
Memories screaming, crackling, with sharp snapping hisses
I see the horror in eyes that no more feel a mother’s kisses.

Tonight I will be with brothers again
Tonight I may too die, as faces dissolve in acid rain
Boiling memory burn and crinkle
Rendering apprehensive nerves white-knuckle.

Memory fogs my mind of good-hearted brothers
Smoky mist blackening countless warrior others
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, staunchly brave
My bed wet and hot in roiling effort to save.

Nightly memory takes me back where
Days without number, in deadly darkness wait there
May peace absolve memories of that blasted war
Nightly marching from my subconscious to the fore.