Terry D. Sutherland


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: July 30, 2007
Awarded: July 30, 2007
Walking, walking, trudging, walking. In the jungle, in the rice paddies; trudging and sloshing with the incessant rain coming down beating your helmet and the constant sound on your poncho.

You know that all is hopeless. You are hunting for Charlie; you have been walking five clicks a day, for two days. Rain comes down in sheets day in and day out. You can’t concentrate on your mission anymore. Your mind has withdrawn from reality; it is numb and tired. Your thoughts wander to another world—to back home—back home you could go where you want, do what you want. How did I end up here? All I can do is walk—I can’t stop or go of my own free will; and the rain is coming down in sheets—I wonder what is on the other side of rain. I bet it is sunshine in another time and another place—sunshine that I may never see again. I am sick to death of rain. On the other side of that sheet of rain I know I will find peace—my girl Donna, my dog Boots— ah, and yes my 1958 Chevy Impala,—my brother is driving it now. He is still in High School—I wish I were there.

A voice stirs reality. “Come on Jones, keep up.” “How many times do I have to tell you—ten meters apart—ten meters—got that?”

You don’t acknowledge or answer you just keep walking, trudging, walking; trying to find the other side of rain.