Herb Wells

AN UNFAMILIAR PEOPLE

The war is here…
and I must abandon my lazy peace…
to join the others…
moving against those now called…
the enemy.

I will carry…
the heavy manufactured instruments…
of death and devastation…
to a place known before…
only to mapmakers and world travelers.

With all my strength…
I must tear apart the solid walls…
and strong beliefs…
of an unfamiliar people…
marked now on the wrong side of history.

With clever weapons…
designed for bloody purpose…
I will pierce and rip those bodies…
wearing strange clothes…
and speaking gibberish.

I will know fear…
but deep below that fear…
I’ve been told that God …
is on my side…
and He would not let me die in such a place.

And when I see…
the twisted heaps and bloody shreds…
of what my hands have made…
I will feel victorious and Godlike…
with the howl of the beast inside my head.

And when I think…
all these were men like me…
my heart will shrink with shame…
and I could almost wish…
those were my shreds and not theirs.

Almost…
but not quite.