Forgotten Dreams

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

So long ago, when I was young. When I still had innocence in my soul. I saw the face of war up close, and it destroyed the boy in me, and the dreams once dreamt that burned inside of me.

FORGOTTEN DREAMS

By Al Garcia

So long ago, when I was young.  When I still had innocence in my soul.  I saw the face of war up close, and it destroyed the boy in me, and the dreams once dreamt that burned inside of me. 

I walked along the valleys and roamed the river banks.  I climbed mountain tops and looked down upon the beauty far below.  I touched the soil where men had bled, and I saw the cages where men had been kept, and where men had died.  And I saw the faces of despair -- cold, detached and numbed -- young and old, their eyes unblinking and downcast, their shoulders stooped, their silence overpowering.  It was the face of war.

I was sent to war as a boy, along with so many others like me, to win an unwinnable war, and we returned as exhausted and defeated men, no longer boys with dreams.  The innocence of youth was the first casualty of war, as it is in any war – innocence lost quickly somewhere between the rice paddies and the dive for cover among the mangrove trees. 

War is endless days of simply trying to survive, and interminable nights of not knowing if the sun will rise again.  All dreams forgotten.  Life merely an exercise in existing, one day to the next, and believing there would be time to dream again, when the nightmare ended, one way or another.

War is not the place nor the time for boys or young men, or anyone, to try to find themselves, or even attempt to make sense of the chaos or the bedlam that surrounds them each day.  War is simply a game of dice, and one is either lucky or not.  Some never find out who won or who lost.  They simply fade into nothingness.

I saw how war changed boys, once young and proud and brave.  I saw how their bodies and minds withered, and how quickly they became cynical and unnerved by the surreal surroundings of a war they did not comprehend, an enemy they could not see or recognize, and a population they did not like nor understand. 

I felt the pain of the boys and men who were able to walk away.  And I saw the look of bewilderment and confusion etched on their faces and in their eyes, in the silence that comes with defeat and exhaustion, as they staggered away into their private safe place inside themselves, if only for a moment, before the nightmare began again. 

War is hell.  It is a place littered with forgotten dreams and abandoned hope.  A place where innocence and faith are brutalized and tortured, and where for many, the music dies. 

If only forgotten dreams could grow again in scarred and blemished battlefields where innocence once walked.


Submitted: May 23, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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