Though I Am a Soldier

Their eyes I see, I know them. They
speak, tell of great atrocity, pain, hunger for justice-
hunger that's never satisfied-and I feel their pain. Death
is cruel, has taken them:spirit gone,
soul ripped, torn to pieces.
Empty eyes stare, unknowing, unblinking;
and yet they know the heart, know all we think, thought
when we stole their breath. Life ends-putrid stench, death decaying.
Eyes look back at me:no hate, no anger, empty.
But I know, know my sins, sins of fellow man. But we,
we are soldiers, fighting, just cause have we
and yet the visions, nightmares,
never cease-unending, every day, every moment unending.
We call it insanity, suicide, sin; they call it faith.
They plead for understanding, deem themselves martyrs,
and I see death in a child's eyes, condemning us,
though we are soldiers.
See those eyes, into the soul that once was
and wonder if hell is hot, is real-and I know it is.
Death all around, the norm yet not,
and I feel hell, feel the dead and dying, and I know hell's despair
by the death in your eyes. But not you, myself, my sins-
condemning, no redemption, no forgiveness,
hate so strong, rank, unbearable.
I see hell in your gaze, hell for me,
though I am a soldier.

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