The War Inside
Fear was everywhere. You could hear the distinct
Discharging of bullets—the earth seemed to shake
Like the nerves of everyone around me. A man with
Blood seeping from many wounds, carried on a stretcher,
The crimson dripping down its sides, onto the dirt.
Explosions rocked the earth every few minutes and
Panic filled the air. The clouds overhead thickened
And soon it rained—pouring, soaking every soldier to the bone.
It was miserable, but necessary. We had to believe
We were doing some good—we had to keep up our spirits
Or else the war was lost already. It was through this depression
That I heard the screaming. The awful shrieks of agony
Piercing through the rain, somehow still louder than the rumbling thunder.
Commands were given, but my wet, dripping body froze
Like rain drops turning to hail before hitting the ground.
Someone shoved me forward, but my knees buckled
And my legs gave way. I fell to the damp earth hard,
Felt my cheek scrape against a rock, stinging. And there I lay
Motionless but not by choice, unable to move. I felt arms
Wrap around my chest, pull me to my feet.
A voice yelled in my ear. I tried to hear, I tried to respond,
But I could do neither as he half-dragged, half-carried me
To safety. Tears fell from my eyes and for a moment
I almost wished that I had just died. That I would be spared
From this show of weakness. He slapped me, trying
To wake me from my unresponsive state. I could see the love
And concern for a fellow Marine in his eyes, and suddenly I realized
How he had put his life at risk for mine. I found strength,
Tried to whisper my thanks, tried to apologize, but
He would have none of it. He shoved my gun into my hands
And I understood. I slowly stood up, felt the cold, hard metal—
Aimed it toward the door, waited. I finally felt alive again
And knew I wasn’t completely worthless or without strength.
A moment of brief relief and hope filled my body before
The door exploded inward and I saw several fall as we fired away.
Then everything went black, and my war was over.
A/N: I wrote this narrative poem for my poetry class, and it had to be only a page long. however, I do plan to greatly expand this, and probably break it up into two parts. Still, I liked this draft of it, so thought I’d share (not to mention I really don’t post enough nowadays…I keep forgetting and with school piling up I’m writing less and less, unfortunately. Though I do plan on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for April).
3 thoughts on “The War Inside (Poem)”
Very powerful imagery – I can sense the confusion on the battlefield, the strong emotions.
You must have a soldier’s soul; this theme appears often in your writing.
Thank you for sharing!
This is a stunning poem! Interestingly enough, I found a G K Chesterton quote a few days back about war that I’d not before heard:
A true soldier fights not because he hates what’s in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
I saw you mention Chesterton in the most recent post, and this poem reminded me of it. Very powerful writing!
Thanks for following my blog. :)