Anthony W. Pahl


I hear the volleys, seven by three
I hear solemn Taps played next to me
I hear the crunch of marching feet
I hear the sounds of families’ grief

I see the lines on anguished faces
I see the sobs in hidden places
I see the touch of loving hands
I see the loss of remembered plans

I feel the pain and loss of youth
I feel the shame of past abuse
I feel the hope of never more
I feel the love some never saw

I taste the oceans of salty tears
I taste the bile of naked fear
I taste the bitterness of defeat
I taste the anger of our retreat

I smell the despair of death’s great pain
I smell the sweetness of freedom gained
I smell the times of memory’s youth
I smell the odour of joyous truth

They hear my ghostly songs of joy
They see the names of all the boys
They feel the coolness of my stone
They taste my power; they are not alone!

but the scent of despair will e’er remain…