Men who fight in war,no matter what side,share the nightmares forevermore.
GHOSTS OF THE PAST
Heavy, green, malevolent the jungle waits.
Water drips from thick foliage as eyes watch.
Night surrounds him as he moves forward.
Silence engulfs him and he wants to run away.
The bugle sounds and he charges ahead to meet his fate.
Pretty lights twinkle to his front, each spewing bloody death toward him.
Sounds reach him as he runs.
Light chatter of the guns, heavy coughs of muffled explosions to his left and right.
Darkness pierced by flare and tracer as bullets dance their deadly dance about him.
He is at the tree line screaming madly as he runs.
Clutching rifle, thrusting steel forward, he is quite mad now.
He is among them, bodies falling, men screaming, shapes moving in the darkness.
He slashes, he fires, shapes fall. His or theirs, he does not know.
Pain wracks his side, fire burns his leg, still he moves forward.
Suddenly he is clear, silence blankets him, the enemy gone.
Slowly he collapses to the ground and sobs for breath.
He cries in grief of what he has done and those who have died.
He is guilty for he lives still.
The old man’s eyes fly open with a violent jerk.
In his bed, face bathed in sweat, he weeps.
Thirty years and still he is visited each night by ghosts.
He stumbles from his hut and stares in the early morning light.
His rice paddies are safe, he is home, the Americans are gone.