Poetry

Innocent Involvement

By 7th April 2009December 9th, 2019No Comments

Canopies of silk float from darkened sky,
Dropping on to targets, where hidden dangers lie,
The ground rushes up to meet you to halt your swift decent,
As you prepare yourself for impact, breath held, and knees bent.
All at once you’re on the ground, you execute a roll,
And fight to collapse your parachute, to get, and keep control,
You look around to locate the remainder of your squad,
As each man gives a thumbs up, you silently thank God.

Assembling now in companies, you move out for the attack,
with scouts deployed ahead of you, you advance along a track,
Checking every landmark carefully against your battle map,
Analyzing topography, against a well-laid trap.
Your trust is in your comrades, likewise they trust you,
Every man trained to do, what he was trained to do.

Then suddenly a whispered word stops you in mid stride,
As you find your troop sergeant, standing at your side.
Take two men with you corporal, and recce up ahead,
He points out on the map a farmhouse, marked in red.
Now don’t get too ambitious and draw unfriendly fire,
Just get in close, and observe, then quietly retire.

We approach the farm in measured bounds, seeking and finding cover,
Then choosing a likely place, set up a post, to see what we could discover,
We noted each position the enemy there had placed,
And slowly we withdrew with care, and not with haste.
Using the initiative our recce had produced,
Gave us swift victory, as strong points were reduced.

Reforming our column we moved out as before,
Leaving the farmhouse burning, a casualty of war.
As we turn a corner that will hide the burning house,
I catch sight of the farmer comforting his weeping spouse,
Just plain folks I consider, like my mum and dad,
Watching war destroy all they’d worked for, all they’d ever had.
Putting the scene behind us, pushing it from mind,
We continue our slow advance, unsure of what we’ll find.

But what of the farmer, what will of him become,
When we have passed from his life, when the fighting’s done.
Perhaps he will forget the past, perhaps he will forgive,
As we go home unmindful, leaving him his life to live.
Never should he look skyward, with fear in troubled eyes,
May his days be filled with peace, and rainbows fill his skies

Len Payne

Author Len Payne

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