I remember sitting on my bunk
polishing my belt buckle
whispers of war filled the barracks air,
not your normal whispers mind you.
They were quiet and edgy like a shadow
scrambling on the back streets of Chicago.
The hushed bullets of fear made me nauseas.
Holding my stomach I willed the sickness away,
readied my uniform for revelry and another day of war games.
I turned my covers just as lights-out
echoed through electric tin speakers.
The hushed whispers became softer yet
more urgent in my mind.
I lay listening to tanks and rapid fire weapons
playing their chorus meant just for rookies like me.
My eyelids felt a need to close
my mind thought about jungles,
bullets whistling through rice paddies
hitting random targets
screaming in the wetness of the jungle.
My eyes moistened when I wondered
why I left you so many thousands of years ago
I promised I would come back to love you
but I never did. The end of my youthful war arrived
as I curled up in a ball of emotional isolation.
It was over. Adulthood crushed me like a wrecking ball.