Anthony W. Pahl


The sun was always there, I’m told
but scars were etched upon our minds;
and darkness absorbed the shadows
making light impossible to find.

The sun reflected off our eyes
because the mirror of our soul
glazed over with horror experienced –
turning young men into old.

Fingers that gently caressed loved ones;
hands that held a baby safe and warm
now needed an ounce of pressure
to change a human shape and form

With the curved smoothness of the trigger
stroked as gently as a lover’s touch
spewing forth the moment’s climax.
Cold sweat mingled with blood and guts.

When even thoughts were absent
and numbness the alternative to fear
and you never heard a thing and you cried without a tear
and you knew of no tomorrow and were not certain of today
and the canvas bag was waiting to carry you away
and your friends were all just yelling to get their adrenalin rush
and your mind just kept on telling them to shut the hell right up
and the smell of cordite powder caused a sneezing death inside
and the fumes of smoke from signals were the reason that you cried
and the noise was deadly silent while you prayed for just the sound
and you knew for bloody certain that you wouldn’t hear that round
and you listened really closely but you never heard a thing
and you knew you were a goner…

Then the darkness stole the shadows;
nothing more to see
and silence stole the life of noise.
You could once more be.
But the earthquakes inside your world
sent shocks right to your brain

And God, you knew,
you really knew
you’d never be the same!