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 Page: Profile: Poetry   Total Views: 16,863,570  

Poem Specs

VxPoem ID: 13904


Posted: June 29th. 2005 7:39:09 PM

Views: 1538

A Rifle Reports

by Rev. Matthew Crowson

Age Group: Adult

I walk alone, lost
Searching to find the unfindable
To obtain the unobtainable
A rifle reports

I drop to the ground like a rag doll
About me scurry the children of nature
Running like rats from a burning barn
I lay in silence
Hoping for them, whomever they may be, to pass over me as if I was mist
I can hear their heavy footfalls
The bone gnawing crunch of leaves and sticks as they trod closer and closer
I grip the mother and beg her to protect me
Yet still the collapse of mulch resounds
I reach sliding my hand down to my hatred
Kill or be killed
I remember now being a boy
Running , jumping, hiding in pristine wilderness
Defending with my birch wood sword and rallying the little people to my side
How can I call them now?
I look up from the corner of my eye
These trees are different
The tall date palms spiral up to touch the sky
The fans of their leaves flex in the wind
If I focus upon the rustling of the leaves
Maybe, just maybe I could forget

And there at my side is my hatred
Cruel monster
Slashing at my being
Clawing at itís cage
The steel flexes like overcooked noodles
The sweat beads into my eyes
Like blood washing over my face
A rifle reports

Boney hands clench around my throat
The cold blade of a sickle touches my back
The numb of death radiates from it like a spiderís web
Eight tiny little legs track through my soul
I loose myself in the crimson coils of death
Red clouds my vision like jam slowly dripping down a glass screen
A rifle reports

I awake in green fields
The long, slender stalks of wheat sway in the wind
No, they are oaks
Proud and strong
A rifle reports

Where had I just been?
I run my hand over my forehead
Half expecting my hand to touch nothing
I feel what seems to be rotted parchment
I look upon my hand, red
Thatís it, isnít it
Iím dead
I look out of the corner of my eye once again
The never-ending palms still loom over me like centurions
The dark stained fabric of their armor
The rustle of leaves like gladius on splint mail
They are my executioners
I listen past the range of their dark gait and hear again the sounds
Not of footfalls but of voices
Soft and shrill like children
A rifle reports

They are close enough for me to see them
The black of their clothing
like a dark patch of midnight the strength of the sun could not wash away
I dare to look up at their faces
They are only children
I look into their eyes expecting to see the cold eyes of a murderer
Yet I see only terror, remorse, and fear
A rifle reports

I f eel a cold icicle pierce my soul
Burning and tearing my flesh
I feel the bones of my leg explode like a million dark suns bursting forth
I close my eyes to face oblivion
Yet some force brings me to once again open my eyes
I look not upon my assassins but a man in deer skins
Though in his eyes I look upon the cold face of death
I am filled with an indescribable love,
He speaks and a rifle reports

For my father and his friends,
For the 53, 000 brothers and sisters who did not return from the jungles of Vietnam
May they rest the sleep of honored heroes.
Remember and never forget

Author's Location: Bellingham, Washington
More Poems: Rev. Matthew Crowson has posted 9 additional poems- View them?
Author's Profile: To learn more about Rev. Matthew Crowson - Click HERE
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