Richard D. Preston

BITTERSWEET

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry
Awarded: March 17, 2005
Years and years walking in the darkest of shadows
My minds eye glued upon its rear view mirror
Casting blurry glances occasionally forward
Praying for a glimpse of something clearer

Caught up in the thick strands of a demons web
Writhing and twisting, struggling in vain
Halfheartedly trying to tear the loose those binding threads
But subconsciously longing to savor the pain

Fear itself is but a tranquil emotion
Compared to the grim reality of a war torn mind
A welcoming thought to lie upon the fields of battle
Amongst the long past ghosts of the dead and dying

Freedom is just for the prisoners of peace
For it is bound or set at liberty by the actions of men
Who hold the keys clutched firmly in their bloody hands
It is they who have broken oppressive chains, again and again

The past is not, and the future is not yet,
Many are trapped somewhere in the between
And the tears that fall silently down the creases of flesh
Run the course in the silence of their own screams

Return to me my peace, long since vanquished
I offer my last breath for a sweet drink from your silver chalice,
For I have eaten of the bread embittered with the hatred of war
And gladly without regret would feast again to consume its malice…

To selfishly keep freedoms flag flying high, above our hallowed shores