Charles Schwiderski

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: May 27, 2005
Awarded: May 27, 2005

Bronze Helmet Top Poet Award of Excellence for June 2005
UP THE RIDGELINE

Something made me think of you…
the pain of remembering… the tears
found their way

You were a wonderful man, officer
and friend

No one could foresee what would
happen that day

Those on the next ridgeline had
gunships firing support

Up the ridgeline and around they
went, up the ridgeline and around

Over and over

Rainforest ridgelines look all the
same… the pilot got confused they
say and strafed our ridgeline

You were hit… I saw you grab your
chest in pain

I ran to you and tried to help… and
put my ear to your lips to hear the
words you tried to speak

You grabbed my fatigue jacket as
you died

They had to pry your fingers loose
… they gripped so hard

They put you on a makeshift stretcher
… it fell apart as they tried to lift you
into the chopper

Your body fell to the ground that
terrible day as if you were trying to
stay in that bloody place

Be happy in the peace you found my
friend, and save me a place… maybe
one day I can find mine…