“Red Dog” ~ David T. Roberts


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: April 4, 2006
Awarded: April 4, 2006
Poetry hidden in a warrior’s heart,
Slowly makes its way to his mind.
Expressing himself in this way
Is all the peace that he can find.

He hasn’t done any more or less
Than others by his side
But he looks on them as heroes
And knows the tears that they have cried.

Marines lying dead on a battlefield
Someone’s husband, brother, or Son,
He’s wondering what they may have thought
As their last day on earth is done

Did they cry for Mother or God?
Please don’t let me die
Or did they gasp; say something nice
To whomever it was by their side

Some of us express our war
The fighting and remembered dead
The only way that we know how
With the words that reach our head

In this way we find comfort
As we choke down the tears
While our mind takes us back
To our fighting years

We can be with our brothers
Fighting side by side
And we may be there once again
Holding one that has died

We know our words won’t be taught
By professors to college kids
Because they themselves dodged the war
By going to college, where they hid

War poetry to a poet is truer
Than history that is written and taught
Because war poetry is written by the hero,
The boy that went to war and fought

History books are written
By documented or guessed-at fact
While war poetry is written
With every little heroic act

Those that have read the history books
And can quote them well
We do love to hear them speak,
And the stories they can tell

The boy that went to war a fighter
And came home with poetry in his heart
Should also put it all on paper
And let the healing start

So when we read our poetry
Or history books so smart, remember,
History is written over the ages
Where poetry, comes from the heart.