Nancy L. Meek

NO TIME

He is such a near-sighted animal
physical survival the ultimate goal
with all his senses fully channeled
there is no time to ponder the whole

A comrade adorns the sacred ground
a war pawn oozing cooling blood
his fatal wounds, devoid of sound
pool, christening boots in the mud

His buddy tries, but tears won’t come
stoic, mumbling the persistent “Why?”
Stomach churning, his knees go numb
on this day, though not his own, to die

He lifts his eyes to a silent heaven
perks his ears for answers therein
to fervent prayers seemingly destined
to drift and disperse with the battle wind

Resting and muddy from childhood play
his buddy refuses to rise and come home
in this teenage graveyard, he prefers to lay
face down, pretending, in bloody loam

The bags, somehow, suddenly appear
out of nowhere, waiting for a moment like this
to hide his silent scream, his look of fear
his arm, his leg… insanity, the carnal kiss

Reality steeps in the heat from the sun
a field reeking carnage the morning fare
the effects lasting until his life is done
in a resilient thousand-yard stare

No time to mourn, no room for tears
as they lift his remains to the sky
soon to confirm a mother’s fears
on this day her baby boy would die

The soldier steps to the battle drum
on a narrow path ‘tween God and man
honorable conquest his rule of thumb
for lack of a more righteous plan

From cradle-to-grave he soars
his wings beating hard against solid air
struggling to rise above all he abhors
swallowing the war’s morbid affair

But he is such a near-sighted animal
physical survival the ultimate goal
with all his senses fully channeled
there is no time to ponder the soul