Bataan


For 60 miles we pushed blindly on.
Through putrid heat and unspeakable misery.
Onward. Stumbling, falling, dying where we lie.
Abandoned by our country,
Shunned by our God.
We pushed onward, on legs worn thin as broomsticks. Skin drawn tight against our ribs.
Sullen faces, sunken eyes, and swollen cheekbones.
We are ghostly caricatures.
Mocking figures pushing us onward,
bayonet point and rusted knife.
Past the stench of a thousand dead, starved and murdered.
Famished, exhausted, they died on their feet, and the jungle floor was baptised in their blood.
Running in streams out of their bodies.
Warm, sticky between fingers. Frothy and metallic in their mouths.
Dirty, bloody, buzzing with flies.
We pushed onward.
Limbs with gaping wounds, gangrenous, shaking with malaria.
We pushed onward.
Cracked lips and yellowed eyes. On splints made of bamboo.
We pushed onward.
Ghastly skeletons driven by superhuman will.
Cursed to march forever through dense, stinking tropical hells.
Ten thousand miles from home, and further with every step. But we can't stop, for someone has to tell our tale.

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This Poems Story

I was watching the History channel back when they still talked about history a little and they were interviewing people who survived the Bataan Death March, so I came up with this.