The 1000 yard stare

I didn’t sign up for this
With the arrogance and naïveté of youth
I wanted to fight for freedom
And liberty for all mankind
Not wade in blood and gore up to my ankles
And sleep with the dead and dying
I didn’t sign up for mud and the cold
And the desperate wails of my brother
He lost his leg when we went over
Into no mans land that morning
His blood stained the sacks as it seeped through the bandage
And the rats waited for once silent
Knowing they would gorge themselves later
There are no heroes in war
Only the dead and those who survive
But every one of us boys
Who fought there lost our lives
There are times I wish the reaper
Had come for me that night
And saved me from the years of waking death
That have underscored my life
All the roads I have taken
And all the places I have seen
I’ve never left that battlefield
Or lost the echoes of those screams

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