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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 20, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 20, 2017



The streets are dusty 
eyes still crusty
from lack of sleep 
but still
we must complete our feat  
A mournful dawn breeze creates mini tornadoes 
on we plough
through small dust clouds
as my squad and i head into a nearby town 

I frown,

wipe my brow 

Even though the wind blows 
the sun is already up and is blaring down 
its intense heat penetrates my kit
making me perspire 
My skin feels as though it’s on fire

Got to keep my head though 
eyes on a swivel 
even though my visions blared 
from this constant drizzle 
that rolls off my brow 
and seems to sizzle 

This intense heat 
Beep, beep beep

What’s that over there? 
We stop and stare 

I’m on my back

I wake seconds later
my ears ring like a thousand church bells
ringing in tandem.
I could just make out a flickering orange light
through my eyelids 
I try to open my eyes 

I did say try
More like pry 

They are stuck together 
I wonder why i lay on the ground 
then realise why, 
My heart starts to pound 
Slowly I pry my blood soaked eye lids open 
a concoction of blood and sweat drizzles down 
from a cut on my forehead 

I feel cold, frozen
But not chosen

I look to my left,
my best friend lies dead 
his uniform charred black
minus both legs
Two bloody stumps pump a crimson river
that carves its way through the dusty sand
creating its own mosaic picture by his hand

Art in the sand 
I cuss

Realising my predicament
i open my mouth to scream 
however nothing leaves
just a wisp of air 
saliva drips onto my chest  
pittering my bullet proof vest

For a second 
I’m a baby

I lay gathering my thoughts
Even though I couldn’t walk 
Or talk  
The intense heat from the still burning car
It scorched my face
It’s going to leave a scar

girls love them  

The thick black smoke bellowing into the morning breeze 
marrs my vision
it was like a black vale had been thrown over the town  
obscures my vision 
I now have a new mission

I heard the voices 
two or three different ones 
speaking in a language i didn’t understand
their heavy boots  tapped against the cobbled road  
kicked up the dusty sand  
Almost hand in hand 

I hit the ground 

I heard the sound of an ak 47 being reloaded 
that sound was unmistakable 
my spirit 
I knew that the enemy was upon me 
and the reason i was on the ground
was from a car bomb exploding 
That was the loud bang 
I remember it,
only briefly though
Now my memories 
Once more flow

One minute we were laughing and joking the next 
a blinding flash 
followed quickly by a loud bang,
the devil himself had sang 
It was like being hit  in the chest by a wrecking ball
the shock wave knocked me off my feet 
catapulted me across the street 

The voices continue to chatter 
their boots continue to tap
they're to my left

I’m dead for sure  

I go for my rifle,
i reach out 
i wanted to scream realising i was minus my right arm
it lay discoloured and crimson stained a few feet from me, 

I wanted to scream

However that wouldn’t have been constructive nor productive 
it was surreal looking at my hand still holding the stock of my rifle 
for now i had to stem the blood oozing from the bloody stump 
that used to be my arm 
that was my main focus 

staying alive!

With a shaky hand i quickly pull the belt from 
the loops in my pants 
and apply a tourniquet to my arm 
it hurt, I’m not going to pretend it didn’t 
I wince through gritted teeth as i pull it tight and lock it into place
the blood flow slowly eases
I’m relieved 
believe me

I refocus on the voices 
they sound close
their boots no longer tap danced on the cobbles 


I knew they were crouched
That meant they had either seen or heard me
Or were just being cautious  


My left hand un-clips my side arm
i release the safety 
I take aim 
I’m a righty not a lefty 
the gun feels quite hefty 
normally it would have been a two handed grip
my hand shakes profusely
The butt starts to slip  

The voices soften to a whisper 
there almost on top of me 

Somebody help me 

I feel nauseous 
think I’m going into shock
my vision blares 
i feel woozy
time for a snoozy

My eye lids rapidly flicker 
like a camera shutter 
the faint outline of a dusty boot 
passes my peripheral vision 
suddenly it gets bigger


A bright light flashes behind my eyes 
followed swiftly by an  agonising pain to my left cheek
my head rockets back against the wall
more pain follows, it doesn’t stall  
my head feels as though it had been squeezed in a vice
At least twice
It’s not nice

bang! bang! bang!

Three shots echo through the air 
something wet splashes across my  cheek
and settles in my hair 
friendly voices replace foreign 
my eyes close
I slump to the ground  
i must have passed out 
i wake back at base  
to a nurses smiling face

Am I in heaven?  

my eyes well 
I’m a soldier first
with feelings 
but still human
at my core
Tears fall in abundance 
I’m thankful to be alive
thankful I still have my eyes 
with which to see my pretty wife 

I’m grateful 

Yes I’m  minus a hand and arm
but still I have my looks 
My charm 
a heartbeat
still beats in my chest  
my friend on the other hand 
not so lucky the blast took both his legs  
i was grateful to be alive

© Copyright 2018 J A OVERTON. All rights reserved.

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