Anthony W. Pahl


What will you be, young soldier,
when you return from war?
Will you ever be the same again;
naïve and innocent as before?

Where will you stand, young hero,
when to your hometown you return?
Will you silently hide in shadows;
or will the candle of acceptance burn?

What will you say, young warrior,
when they ask you what you’ve seen?
Will you say it don’t mean nuthin’;
or will you let them hear you scream?

How will you sleep, young fighter,
when day loses the battle against night?
Will you dream the dreams of the innocent;
or will nightmares awaken you in fright?

What will you think, young veteran,
in eleven thousand days from now?
Will you remember that it was worth it;
or will it, by your brothers’ blood, be sour?

Submitted for the April 2003 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Portrait of a Soldier