Written for Lynn Hicks' Contest "Take My Phrase, Please" using one of her prompts
WILD UNDER THE SUN
The sun beat down on the trenches where we lay,
confined to the earth as we faced another day.
Shelling had stopped and the quiet hurt my ears,
crying alone, tasting the sweat and salty tears.
"I will not die alone" I said, as I shook my head,
remembering the music of the Grateful Dead.
My blood was mixed with sweat and salty tears
as I sprang up and fired back, forgetting my fears.
My shouts were strong as I ran from the trench
where lifeless bodies created such a stench.
Once I was a peaceful, gentle and loving child,
I now moved like a man gone completely wild.
Later they told me I had saved two young men,
if I could just go back, I 'd do the same again.
Wounded but never giving up on freedom's call,
I couldn't walk anymore, but I sure could crawl!
Battle fatigue, the doctors all agreed as I cried,
still fighting the war in which I should have died.
I counted lost friends instead of counting sheep,
then praying aloud "now I lay me down to sleep".
"He went wild in the sun" one doctor exclaimed,
as he saw my broken soul, tortured and maimed.
I was trying to remember who and where we are,
as I fingered a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
The aftermath of war is difficult for all to face,
we come back home, where there is no trace
of what we went through and no one knows why
a grown man would continue, for years, to cry.
KEEP OUR TROOPS IN YOUR PRAYERS!