Envisioning Eyes of A Soldier Part 2: Salutations

Another sleepless night, why do I even bother
To try to sleep? The ceiling haunts me
WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME?
I miss the sight of distant muzzle flashes
I need that night light
Home is where the heart is and I left…
I lost pieces of my heart in that distant land
Every bullet that missed my flesh stole a little of me
Stop, please stop calling me a hero
I am not, the red you see is not a cape
It’s the blood of my brothers
The rotten red hurt that stains my hands
and covers my eyes
They didn’t make it home, I didn’t come back the same
I am not the same
I will never be the same again
I don’t remember what it was like before

Should I be thankful?
I know what real friendship is
Those men, my brothers, were the only ones
Who ever truly had my back
Home is about safety, I don’t feel safe
They gave their lives
Their blood stained and dried upon my hands
Though my hands are clean now, I still see the red
All I can see is red
Did they die so I could make it back alive?
but I don’t want to live without them
They had families, they had rings on their fingers
and all I have is emptiness
My father says he is proud
but it doesn’t feel good
I’m sorry father but it just doesn’t feel right
I’m sorry mother I just don’t feel right
This barrel is cold against my burning skin
and it fits snugly against my temple
My finger slides in the guard and graces the trigger
Just one deep breath and then squeeze
Ready… inhale
Before I can exhale the phone rings
and I can’t ignore the sound

I can feel the tears that are flowing down her face
Like an ocean wave passing through sonically
My ears seem far away as they’re drowned by
The sound of a mother’s sorrow
Her only son, my last brother,
One of the strongest men I’ve ever known…
Oh my brothers, war brought us together
and war destroyed us all

Within the sound of the three-volley
I can’t hold back the tears
and I realize what you have done for me
Even though you’re gone, you still have my back
You’ve always had my back
It wasn’t the phone call that saved me
No it was you
and I wish I could explain it all to your mother
You didn’t take your own life because you’re weak
You’ve always been strong
Not many would be able to understand what it’s like
to feel betrayed by your own mind
Brother, you did the only thing you could
You saved my life again
My brothers I know you’re still looking out for me
and I see now that I am meant to live
There’s no blood on my hands
It’s not my fault that you died
It’s because of you, all of you, that I am alive
and the safety I was longing to have still exists
Your strength and courage and love keeps my heart beating
Brotherhood means everything
and nothing can take it away from me
Nothing and no one can take you away from me
The rifle salute concludes
and I see that honoring all of you doesn’t end
Every breath I take, every step I make can be used to honor you
My life is a tribute to you, my brothers
I am a tribute and I will stand tall

Thoughts?

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