Random Quote

You can polish yourself until the day you die, but you’ll still be defective.

Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial

In battle I pull glass from my skin
every day it’s the same,
bombs explode throughout the night
it’s like I’m chasing a land mine,
waiting to blow, as I envision my flesh being thrown
here and there I pick up the pieces of my fallen buddies,
who’ve served in this horrid war alongside me
fearing that they somehow may die, and if so,
they’ll surly never be part of the forgotten.

Traces of skin, blood, even eyes
litter the dirt for miles to see
and I try closing mine, to block it out,
but it lurks behind… chained to my mind
retinas scarred, for forever, and my life
will never be once the happy memory I held.

Crisp as the skin blackened with hate
as far as I can see the sky filled with planes
smoke lingers where detonation occurred
my friend… I’ll never forget the pain… you have my word.

Sweet sweat taste of filth,
for nothing left to drink here
I’ve faced Bloodshed River,
and a victory honored.

Those days again, I think back and tear
and remember why I wear this patch close to my ear
for the loss of one enemy was worth the peace of knowing
the States stay united and free for all.

Photo by: Rob Hogeslag

Categories: Poetry
Tags: #Life

Comments (12)

  • Jacqueline Dick . December 11, 2012 . Reply

    This is a powerful, close-up scenario of the horrors of war. Visceral imagery, etching the memory. A fine piece!

    • (Author) Bradley Howington . December 11, 2012 . Reply

      Thank you, Jackie. I wanted to tell a little story through the eye(s) of a solider: A piece of the struggle. The suffering, and the pain he endured as he lost his friends, and eventually lost part of himself, but survived the war.

  • brian miller . December 11, 2012 . Reply

    dang man, vicious write….brutal imagery…like chasing a land mine…tight piece bradley…you capture well the feel and grit….

    • (Author) Bradley Howington . December 12, 2012 . Reply

      Thank you so much, and thanks for stopping by Brian. 🙂

  • Sabio Lantz . December 12, 2012 . Reply

    Ah, is it worth it? This poem say “No” to me. Especially as I think of poets on both sides of any conflict writing the same, in support of their “State”.

    • (Author) Bradley Howington . December 12, 2012 . Reply

      Sabio, what are you talking about? I’m talking about the “United States” of America. The character in this piece is a soldier telling his story.

  • Heaven . December 12, 2012 . Reply

    This is a powerful write on the scars and after effects of war ~ Not only in the physical side but also the emotional and psychological side like depression and suicide ~ I wonder if this is from a personal experience as the images are very graphic and real ~

    • (Author) Bradley Howington . December 14, 2012 . Reply

      Thank you, Heaven. :). This is not from a personal experience, but there’s a piece of me in there. Sorry for replying so late. I thought I replied the other day. 🙁

  • Bell . December 15, 2012 . Reply

    Awesome first line, Brad.

    • (Author) Bradley Howington . December 15, 2012 . Reply

      Thank you, Bell! 🙂

  • Natasha . December 15, 2012 . Reply

    You have a gift Brad…never doubt it…this was a wicked weave!

    • (Author) Bradley Howington . December 15, 2012 . Reply

      WOW, thank you so much! ♥ 🙂

Add comment

© Bradley Howington 2007-2018. All Rights Reserved.