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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Emotional · #1242171
A soldier in Iraq speaks out his heart to the poet.

Heart of stone, a stony face,
No emotion, no grimace;

Manly features leonine,
Nature cowardly not thine;

Do I see a tiny tear
In eyes that are free of fear?

On steel face a drop of dew!
Does your heart trouble you, too?

Lands you conquered far and wide,
Not afraid of wind or tide.

Gallant knight of steel armour,
You, too, tender thoughts harbour!

Speak out, tell me, soldier brave,
Why this silence of the grave?


“Yes, O poet, you are right.
This warrior, so upright,

This proud son of his mother,
In country’s service proper,

Has been to lands far and wide,
Seeing him, enemies hide.

With his gun, bomb and grenade,
In battle, hell he has made

For sons of other mothers.
In only this he differs:

They fought for independence,
From those who, under pretense

Of finding WMD,
Bombed them with a sinful glee,

Killing the old and children,
Sparing not even women.

Yes, poet, you truly spy,
That tiny tear in my eye.

Only a poet can see,
A soldier’s melancholy.

We were sent to liberate
Saddam’s Iraq, whom we hate.

We expected joy awesome,
And a red carpet welcome.

But our dreams were all shattered,
When soon, in fact, we gathered:

Rather than as crusaders,
We were seen as invaders,

Out to loot their precious oil,
Lying beneath desert soil.

They fought back with all their might,
Gun in hand and hate in sight.

But against aerial fire,
They had simply to retire.

We butchered effortlessly
Women, children, elderly.

It’s for them that I do cry;
That is why a tear you spy.

Poet, keep this but to you.
Let not this ever get through:

That a man in uniform
Was so sad and so forlorn;

That such emotion, grimace,
Without showing any trace,

He hid behind a mask, fake,
Of stone heart, a stony face”.

• Written in aa, 7-7 format

• Awarded Sapphire Gem award in the "Invalid Item, Diamond in the Rough Poetry Contest, March 2007.

* Initially written as item 715024, rated 4.5 by 12 viewers, which was deleted on 18 March 2005 and replaced by entry no. 335527 in the book "WAR POETRY--award winner. Posted as the present item on 3 April 2007.

M C Gupta
5 July 2003

© Copyright 2007 Dr M C Gupta (mcgupta44 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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