Expendable Souls (A Soldier’s Fate)

18 x 24 Oil on canvas
18 x 24 Oil on canvas
In every boy’s dreams, spewing from the seams
A fulfillment oh so grand.
The warrior’s chance to take a stance
And be more than just a man.

So majestic he will be and noble they will see,
Far beyond any sense of reason.
The horn will call, and he’ll stand tall
No matter the cause to believe in.

At the same time in the back of his mind
Comes the doubt of a thousand children.
“Will I fail in all the hail
Or worse return in a bag or coffin?”

He searches deep for his soul to reap
Some compassion for his foe.
But it’s quickly drowned out by the master’s shout:
“Come on machines! Time for a bloody show!”

We’re almost there, and he can taste his fear.
The distant whistles falling.
Piercing his spine with a shrill unkind
Up heaving his stomach, “Dear God?!,” he’s calling.

Bombs blast in terror, through smoke he gasps for air.
Overwhelming the flavor of rusted blood.
One can never imagine a sight of such proportion,
Corpses piled high with limbs in the mud.

“I’ll never stay alive, for it’s only chance we survive!
How will I return to the norm?
I’m fatigued by fright, who can rest in the night?
Maybe it’s best to die – to calm this emotional storm.”

Now beyond care, his mind stripped bare.
This distortion, shaped human, comes home.
Back at the fight his reason took flight.
Awarding his loved ones just flesh and bone.

Can you see our demise, an inheritance of sighs
Cheating our youth of their goals.
When power and supplies are worshipped above lives,
Once more, we shall forfeit our jewels.