James H. Smith


Between the ears of a horse he has looked out upon the world
Watched the raising and the setting of the sun
The colors of a rainbow in a raising mist, all in swirled
He speaks to the horse and no one at all, may Gods handy work be done

His eye looks between the sights, over the barrel of a gun
He lays in the blood and the mud, watching death march around
Night is dark, jungle deep, he prays one more time to see the morning sun
Tired beyond belief, no sleep his alarm the rattle of machine gun sound

Between the ears of a horse he looks now with a thousand yard stare
He looks from eyes that see too far, eyes older than time
Dark flitting shadows for dreams, that a year ago weren’t there
He did his job, a job to him that had neither reason nor rhyme

His eyes look to see the trail left behind, it’s been a fair long run
Family, work and life, friends passed, gone their way
Dark shadows for dreams, only now and then will come one
He knows a Warrior’s time here is short, but will fight another day

Between the ears of a horse he looks out to see a waking world
Watching the raising of the sun
The land waking from night to day before him unfurled
From the back of a horse peace may be found, more of life’s song yet to be sung

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: November 5, 2009
Awarded: November 5, 2009