Nancy L. Meek

NEVER IN VAIN

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: April 5, 2005
Awarded: April 5, 2005
If I must die, let it not be in vain,
but for my comrades on either side
who fight, hoping peace to attain,
eventually, before we grow more insane.

But, alas, alas! Are we not there already
as I hold my combat rifle steady… steady
aimed, prepared to shoot our elusive foe,
lurking everywhere, wherever we go?

If I must die, let my blood run red,
spurting across the concrete… dead… dead
insane… our veins bearing blood born blue;
our fathers so proud of all we can do.

We’ll die if we must, but never, never in vain,
though our blue blood will leave an ugly stain
on concrete poured with rebar and sweat
in the name of progress ahead of us yet.

Steady… steady… here comes a foe now,
my enemy, our enemy, with sweat on his brow;
Pop! Pop! Pop! His parents will weep; proud
he did not die in vain, for it is never allowed.

For God and Country we’ll keep up war’s pace
‘til, alas, it has claimed the whole human race
or until the only souls left are merely just two
and perhaps a serpent dangling an apple in view.