A Soldierís Voice

Dear Editor,

This poem was written by a soldier that was in Afghanistan.

The rounds shook the earth and the dust flew up, The scenes that followed could make you throw up. Letís start with the sound, the sound of the screams, Your sleep cannot save you, the sounds in your dreams. Then there is the whistle, the Sergeant yells, ďGet down!Ē now the once-screaming mothers all lie on the ground. Next there is the scent, it could only be death, Burning hair and flesh, what else could be left? Smoldering tires, gasoline and rotting meat, These smells fill my nose as I tread down the street. Next is the physical feeling right after the attack, Helmet, weapon, vest and 35 pounds on my back. The dust fills my mouth and it gets difficult to breath, I cough and I spit while others start to wheeze. The hairs on my hands are gone and my face is all red, It felt like strong sunburn, at least Iím not dead. I started to help my buddy, he said he was hit, Then I heard another whistle and I thought that was it. I put my face in the mud as the shrapnel rained down, But some metal hit my buddy and he bled on the ground. I lifted his head and blood covered my hands, I put my head down and my tears filled the sand. Riding down the road with dust in my face, I wish I were home, I canít stand this place. Had great friends whom have become closest of kin, Lived life with them and watched their lives end. This place was so horrid, a nightmare if I may, The smell of death and fear is what started my day. We had missions that killed but we also helped out the poor, We gave supplies to schools and also kicked in doors. The sights of this country are still fresh in my mind, The strain on my back, I still feel in my spine. The screams I would hear when I sleep sometimes, The look of the child when I took his fatherís life, The slap that I got from the now-widowed wife.

by Martin