The Horror

Charles Edward York


When you see your best friend's face
Turn into a bloody pile
And the other guy
Tries to take you out next
You know what you gotta do.
There is no dramatic music
Playing in the background
No patriotic songs
Blaring loudly
Inspiring you
You grip the rifle
As an extension of
Your training and your anger
And you do what must be done.

I see too many people smiling
Saluting men and women
Coming back for
The fifteen minute parade
And angry pissed off
Wanna-be warriors who never served
With assault weapons
Roaring paper lions
Blowing wind and smoke
Right up their roots
They wave flags now
And then drive by veterans
Homeless on the street
Without a thought to help.

The smell of false and empty pride
Makes me vomit
Raining foul garbage over me
Listening to fanatical fans
Spill their substance
As the bullets fly in nightmares
And artillery shells
Explode in bloody dreams
Haunting the lonely veteran
Failing to cope with idiots
Who know nothing of the horror
War seldom abandons 
Just the clueless ones
Never there and don't understand.

When the vet sat in silence
I made my way to him
Stretching out my hand
I could never imagine
The sheer violence
He saw or had to summon
Kill or be killed
My Dad said
I felt the unknown number
In his tired fingers
Pulling the trigger
Holding his friends
Bleeding, crying, dying
Grateful my hands never knew the horror.

Copyright © 2015 Charles Edward York


  • Saxon Crow

    This is truly what poetry is about. Honesty. Undiluted honesty. A masterpiece Charles

  • Charles Edward York

    Thank you very much for that. I have a lot of respect for audible people who serve in the military for the very simple fact they have survived things no one else should ever have to see or experience.

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