A Soldier's Lament

A Soldier's Lament
by Doug Soderstrom

Thank God,
I am home at last.

A return to sanity,
And the security of knowing,
That I am home.

An opportunity to begin anew,
To rebuild a life,
Once torn apart.

Nevertheless constrained, even forced,
To recall the memories, the feelings,
Of yet another time.

The agonizing reality of having had to battle an enemy,
One that I never knew,
One that I never even wanted to know.

Thinking back,
About all of those moments,
The choices I seemingly had to make.

The orders,
To shoot and to kill,
My enemy.

Some inanimate object on the horizon,
An outline, a moving target,
A human frame "but certainly not a human being."

Squinting eyes,
Peering through crosshairs,
Ready to fire upon my foe.


Triggered discharge,
Fired missile,
Shouldered recoil.

No blood, no guts,
No sounds,
No movement.

Just the cold and dreary silence,
Of knowing that I did a job,
That had to be done.

But once again,
I am,

No more officers ordering to kill,
No more bombs "bursting in air,"
Not even an enemy with whom to shed my blood.

Yet all alone, separated from my comrades,
The wretched few who understand the horrors of war,
Those who can share the raging pain of an aching soul.

But now as a man,
Not as an innocent child frightened by what might someday be,
But rather as a soldier tortured by what once was.

Sitting and starring with conscience in hand,
Asking the single, most fundamentally-haunting question of my life,


Recently by Doug SoderstromCommentsDate
For What Good is Life
Apr 26, 2010
Collateral Damage
Apr 10, 2010
A Soldier
Mar 24, 2010
more from Doug Soderstrom
Peter Pan

In trench of betrayal

by Peter Pan on




Thank God,

I am Home at last.


Sinking in my chair,

enjoying the warmth of the friendly fire,

which glows the walls of cynicism around me.


I remember, my comrades-in-arms,

Who stayed there,

To secure me a Home.



Thank God,

I am Home at last.