Behind This Broken Wall

Behind this broken wall I stand,
breathing deep, M1 in hand
with bullets whizzing by,
plaster forced to dancing high.
Here am I bound to reclaim this land.

Between the beats of heart I reel
in memory grasped and how I’d feel
to touch her hand in mine,
to feel her eyes on mine…
Then mortar blasts! My mind to steel!

“Move! Move!”, I heard the cry,
instinctually crouching, did truly fly
across the open alley.
The “thud”, the scream, the endless tally
grows, at hedge I turn to watch him die.

Some of us are lucky, blessed,
never found beneath the mess
of surging blood and pain,
feeling life so slowly drained,
and yet our fortunes’ only guessed.

Again I’m caught, as mortars fall,
and voices shouting, chopped, they call
the only words I know,
“raus” – get out! I’ve got to go,
as a glimpse of three I catch, quite tall.

I wonder if their nightmare’s mine.
I fight to push them cross the line
of being living men,
is it me or is it them?
I stand and fire three shots, they’re fine

and lie there in the winter’s mud,
as again I run against the thuds
of shelling in the town,
in heartache I could drown
to broken doorway with all my blood.

Intact, I can’t recall the flash
of steps and shots through seconds passed.
I hear the echoed boom,
and fear the shaking gloom,
so pray that this might end at last.

Behind this broken wall I stand,
pain of what I do in hand,
until the silence breaks
and kindly, quietly takes
my hopes in peace to end this stand.

Sarge calls, “fall out, it’s clear!”,
so softly step through rubble here,
to streets so choked
with death and smoke
and so it seems I’ve killed my fear.

I stand at broken corner, found
silenced by the squeaking sound
of only rolling tanks.
In silence I give silent thanks
and step beyond this killing ground.

This bloodied morning, grey in mist,
decries humility, despair left kissed
for those today we’ve lost
in honor at great cost,
these men we’ve loved and sorely miss.

Behind this broken wall I stand,
my truth and life in hand…

In honor of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team – WWII

1 Comment

Filed under History, Memory, Poetry

One response to “Behind This Broken Wall

  1. glo blue

    Dad would be proud!! Visually striking my love.

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