Colin F. Jones

THE PITS

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: February 17, 2008
Awarded: February 17, 2008
Her letters all were perfumed,
On soft paper she would write,
With sweet flowers in the corners
That would my eager eye delight.
Her words satisfied my longing,
To hear her spoken words again,
I could hear her voice in every word,
And hear the lack of shame.
She was honest in her mention,
That she could not stay at home,
Bright lights drew her attention;
She did not like to be alone
I understood her situation,
That was not one to condone.

She did not wait for me my friend,
She preferred to play the field,
She kept up the act until the end,
Though the truth she’d not concealed.
Still, it gave me strength to cope,
With my isolated thoughts,
And helped secure a deeper hope,
That war sometimes distorts.
Somehow she could not share my love,
But could share easily her own,
She was indeed a speckled Dove,
Who with Cuckoos oft had flown.
Yet still I clung to that lost love,
To keep in touch with my home.

What could I ask of her my friend,
What could I have expected her to do,
I could not expect her to pretend,
That she’d intended to be true.
After all though I loved her,
She could not be expected to love me,
I was not there to please her,
And she was full of life and free.
She would never know the heartache,
That each letter would incite,
She teased me with her promises,
Then turned off the loving light.
But I was just another soldier,
With a bloody war to fight.

Though it was later I was rejected,
Later when I got back home again,
Though it was as I expected,
I was unprepared for the pain.
For a year I had longed to see her,
For a year she’d occupied my mind,
But nothing in the world is pure,
And one sided love is so unkind.
I guess it was not meant to be,
I’d been down this road before,
Though I was still young and free,
She was still the woman I adored.
It took a long, long time you know,
Before I met someone more assured.

Once again I was with sorrow,
Walking down a lonely road,
With no one from whom to borrow,
To lighten my heavy load.
The war had left me with the knowledge
That it was not my will to kill,
Though ‘mid the chaos and the carnage,
One was caught up in the thrill.
We fought for ourselves, not our country;
None had threatened its vast shores,
Now I wondered about the purpose:
Why did we wage such foreign wars?
Why were our soldiers dying,
For another country’s cause?

A professional soldier does not question,
Why he marches off to war,
The battlefields of his destination,
Are what he has been training for
He leaves all that he loves behind,
To adapt to his warrior role,
Though it accompanies him in his mind,
Like a flag clinging to a pole.
Though at first he is quite fearful,
He soon becomes what he must be,
That seldom is he tearful,
Through his blindfold he cannot see
Until he becomes a veteran,
With post traumatic stress like me.

He looks back asking questions,
To which all the answers he knows,
Understanding the peoples objections,
Why these wars they oppose.
Seeing young men trained for battle,
Not knowing where they will go,
All numbered just like cattle,
An Expendable endless flow.
All of them have people
Who love them every one,
Who will weep with desperate heartbreak,
After they are dead and gone.
And some will not to it relate,
But what is done is truly done.

Oh, so many wept in their weapon pits,
As they shook with fear and dread,
At night peering through strong-point slits,
Anxiety invading every head.
Though with broken hearts they suffered,
They grew closer to their friends,
Knowing all that really mattered,
Was on their comrades they must depend;
And the love that’s born between them,
In their hearts will never die,
A brotherhood you can’t condemn,
No matter how you might try,
For Warriors are very special men,
Though only they know why.

It was those who still had mail
That described their love as true,
Who shared every written detail,
While the listening circle grew.
Who helped morale to blossom,
In the jilted soldiers heart,
Though perhaps for some it worsened,
That from it he’d depart.
But it doesn’t matter now, my friend,
It was all so long ago,
But as I watch our government send,
More young men to fight a foe;
I see no change and I’ll not pretend,
I do not envy where they go.