Thurman P. Woodfork


Thurman P. Woodfork: Remorse

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: November 5, 2005
Awarded: November 5, 2005
I hear a familiar voice calling,
Calling from the used-to-be.
I feel a guitar softly thrumming
Serenades deep inside of me.

The chords pulsing within me
Summon dreams of long ago
Flowing down yearning years
With a longing that pains me so.

So why did I walk away
from what I hungered for?
Why did I pretend not to care
As I quietly closed that door?

All she ever asked was that
I return a modest part
Of the generous love she offered
From a free and open heart.

Had I followed my true desire
I’d never have gone to war
And added such a burden
To a heart already sore…

No standing watching helplessly
As people died in flames,
No learning cold, hard lessons
Why war is not a game.

But, no, I had to go my way
Searching on distant shores,
To find, aching years later,
I’d had all I needed, and more.

Memories of that lost love
are dispelled by agonized cries
As smoke from a burning village
Obscures my lover’s eyes.

I don’t often think this way –
My soul can’t bear the pain –
And only very briefly
Do I allow that strummed refrain

To pulse, ever so gently,
Behind my shuttered eyes
To a counterpoint of mortars
And a lover’s long lost sighs?