Randy E. Richmond

OLD SOLDIERS’ SHADOWED SCREAMS

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: March 31, 2003
Awarded: March 31, 2003
with day’s last light behind…
we stand with image darkly illuminated
stretching, reaching… to the tempest

wanting to shield your eyes… from the lightning
to muffle your ears…
against the thunder
shelter you… from the rain… the hail!
… the destruction!

knowing… you are past our reach
yet somehow…
… feeling you!

as the elongated reflection of our hands vanishes
… we look at them… fold them… use them!
to ask Him to deliver these things to you
to bring you strength
to heal your hearts… and ours!

to calm the storm…
to carry you… soon… to a new dawn
of liberty… of freedom…
to a sweet taste unknown
… by those called Iraqis
may they know that taste
… and thank you for it!

And then…
when the first rays of that new day have broken…
follow your shadow… and a westward breeze…
… to the waiting embrace…

of home!