War Song / Erika Land

Please don’t sing me a war song.

When I turn on the radio and I hear a war song as innocent as it may
be, thanking me and my fellow warriors for a job well done;

I am filled with tears, not tears of joy but of pain, excruciating
pain that punches me in the chest. Pain that stems from those
horrific thoughts I have when a thank you war song reminds me of
all the friends I have lost and my heart begins to palpitate.

It reminds me of the daily fighting, the dodging many bullets, the ducking for cover from an incoming mortar.

It reminds me of all the little kids who have been killed, some of
them innocently, some as enemies.

It reminds me of the strides I have taken to not be afraid of
children who want nothing more than to shake a soldier’s hand.

I ask you to not sing me a war song, not because I don’t appreciate
it. I understand you just want me to know that my fighting was not
in vain and not everyone takes what I have done for granted.

I ask you to not sing me a war song because when I hear one I am
sent into a trance and images kaleidoscope, but not in that good
amazing geometric way.

Images of blood and guts collide and bounce off each other awakening
my other senses that won’t let me forget the stench of charred
flesh, the way my comrades body parts felt in my hands, the screams of women, men, children, and my fellow soldiers, the way the dirt tasted when it splattered on my teeth after that I E D exploded and I was thrown to the dirt.

I am not trying to put a damper on thank you war songs but when I hear one I find myself crying, because I am filled with emotion that rips into my core and I am reminded of all the friends I have lost, and how powerless I was.

I am reminded of the many men and women I have had to watch transition from this world into the next, offering comfort but nothing more.

I could not help them in their last hour. I could do nothing about being sent to war. I cannot do anything about the tragedies that come along with war.

But I can ask you, to please not sing me a war song.


sl_land said...

Deep,heartfelt, thought evoking words. I would stamp this as the Spoken Praise Song for the soliders... Awesome thoughts. Thans for sharing..you're the bomb...


Anonymous said...

Heart wrenching poem. It makes it all so real for those of us who are far away from the fighting.

Anonymous said...

Love the poem.