One Night

One night

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 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.