Freddy A. Williams


As I set here listening to the news reporter,
I try to get my head, my mind in order…
I feel a longing to be with my young brothers and sisters,
to give them the knowledge that I carry,
Of a war fought up close and personal.
The course must be straight and true,
they cannot vary…

They do not realize the results
of a bullet, a grenade, a land mine;
I know they’ve been told,
instructors told them time after time….
I was told too,
but until I saw the blood
it didn’t ring true…

I had no conception of death;
I knew what it was, I won’t pretend,
But my mind didn’t comprehend….
Until our Brother whom we drank beer with each night,
we were told, he wouldn’t come back from that fight…

The rage, anger, frustration came to a head,
when we comprehend the words, “He is dead…”
They spilled over into the night,
Not knowing or caring if we were right….
Oh how I pray our younger brothers and sisters
will never know our plight,
Or the feelings we shared that night…

Of the longing to be there,
the knowledge we couldn’t,
the anticipated order,
the hope it wouldn’t.

We fight in our sleep,
we cry in our dreams;
We are the old soldiers
of the mean green fighting machine…