I do not write much war poetry.
But this poem came to me as I was thinking through the power of juxtaposition and irony. And in honor of those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.
I love the result. The notion of what is a hero? What is a coward? How do we define bravery in the heat of battle or in the throes of “the end of all things?”
[ small nerdy nod also to Tolkien’s Frodo & Sam in LOTR ]
Found myself quite emotionally affected by this poem. I would love to hear how it impacted you, most of all.
Please feel free to leave your Comments below.
-PS Conway ☘ ☘ ☘
☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ ☘
at the end of all things, the night sky glowed
with fire and perdition, missiles whistled,
bullets strafed, gore rained through strangled starlight
while munitions pounded our position,
and oh the blood, the blood, the red blood flowed
from heads rent wide, bone stripped down to gristle,
and i, the coward, crawled into the night
low like a snake, abandoned my mission,
fled grave Gehenna, death left to the crows,
crept like a cowering cur up the hill to
the church, where a wee child wept outside
of iron cemetery gates, alone,
alone and in tears, alone, heaven knows
what had happened, oh sweet child, to find you
in terror, this coward clambered to her side,
took her in my arms, hid near a tombstone,
hushed her tears, held her tight, this heinous night
full of terror and fright, would not claim her life,
even when bullets burst forth from death’s valley
below, i turned my back to shelter the blow,
and oh the blood, the blood, the red blood flowed,
my arms opened wide to allow her to flee
arms like wings granting my soul to take flight,
soar up from the bloodshed, the cruel strife
outside those cemetery gates, as dawn
came soft and low, this doomed coward crawled ‘cross
unconsecrated ground into the arms of
a shallow hole, eyes closed to all the horror.