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Page 50
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<< 49. Forty-Three Years and Counting (poem)51. The War At Home >>

Stand To (poem)

By Rick Harrienger

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Stand to, but whispered, stand to

When every sense was brought to bear

We stretched to know the morning's air

Adrenaline...beyond beware...

Nerves not strong were shattered

Stand to. Selector switch caressed like braille

each tick of time a separate tale. We willed

the dawn to no avail; and nothing, nothing mattered

Stand to. When in the silence breathing's loud

cursing exhalations cloud; should war erupt

would dad be proud? Will I survive the latter?

Stand to. Altho the curse of morning's rain

when every sense is stretched and strained

the clicker of the sentry's plain...

Or was that Charlie's clacker?

Stand to. For all of those who've left us now

It's we who show the others how

the subtleties of surviving now

that's all that really matters.

Stand Down

We opened "c's" so quietly

while digging foxholes frantically

and saddled up the nights O.P.s

The silence growing fatter.

Stand down. Weary from the mountain climb

the commo check go's down the line;

a letter read a final time

the mist as thick as batter.

Stand down. Fatigue that few have ever known

weariness of every bone

the single thought...to make it home

the luxury of water!

Stand down. The mud that kept mosquitoes off

the blessed ground that's almost soft

the drone of casper high aloft

no doubt which side I'd rather.

Stand down. Squad by squad we're dusted off

back to beds with pillows soft

a chance to grieve the ones we'd lost

and trounce the whores who flatter.

Stand down again stand down.

Bring solace to each other

Take an honest look around

and see where each of us is bound.

Let not our lot be six feet down

I'm begging you my brother.

Stand Round

We've come too far

to die in vain, despite our anguish

and our pain

Count not your loss; instead your gain

and doubt and fear will scatter.

—Rick Harrienger

<< 49. Forty-Three Years and Counting (poem)51. The War At Home >>