Robert E. Wheatley
BRUISED SOULS AND SPLINTERED LIVES
Curious I think, what we humans go through
Not for what we want, but for “the right thing to do.”
For duty and honor, the things we’ll endure
Deprivation and loneliness, and the horrors of war.
But the tide of war picks up all in its path
And sweeps them away in a firestorm of wrath.
Those who must leave, and those left to wait
Must put trust in God, or in uncaring fate.
The soldier who crouches in fetid swamps
Or walks the perimeter, or guards the bomb dump.
The young nurse who witnesses trauma and death
And holds a man’s hand as he takes his last breath.
The young mother who cradles her newborn child
And sings him to sleep, while her thoughts run wild,
Thinking of one in foreign jungles so green
“Is he still all right – what horrors has he seen?”
The parents who watch their son leave with pride
For a place fraught with danger – their anguish they hide.
The proud father who hugs him and wishes, “God speed!”
The doting mother who kisses him, then goes home to weep.
Like so much flotsam, powerless to resist,
The storm of war drives us all toward the cliffs
Of destruction that wait to splinter our lives
And bruise our souls, even if we survive.
We may pick up the pieces and make a new life;
We may patch up the damage caused by the strife.
But the scars left by war shall always remain,
And all those who live it shall n’er be the same.
©Copyright April 2001 by Robert E. Wheatley
Good morning and Happy Easter Chris,
I was able to view the pages (The Night Before and Last Night) this morning. Your poem and Tony’s response are both beautiful and heartbreaking. I don’t know of a single person who truly wanted to go over there, though I suppose there may have been a few. Curious I think, the things we humans do, the deprivation and loneliness, the heartache and horror we put ourselves through, not because it’s what we want, but because it’s “the right thing” to do – a matter of duty.
Along those lines, your poem and Tony’s response have given me inspiration to write one I call, Bruised Souls and Splintered Lives.
The “Farewell” Trilogy