Along the river I did sit,
Poised with pen and paper,
Prepared to write the stories,
The atrocities, the monstrosities
That had befallen many a soldier.
I meant to write of the evening sky
Burning bright as day,
As boom after bang
Shattered, splintered shelter, bone, spirit, man.
I meant to write of the cool, green breeze
That to our lungs brought coughing,
Our eyes, stinging,
To our lives, death.
I meant to write of the flowing pink river
That to us brought water, fish, and the occasional friend
To whom you could wave,
As long as you did not expect a salute in return.
I meant to write of the call of the morning songbird,
Its cries unheard as it fell from the sky,
Its body ravaged by the bullets.
Our ears ringing with the bullets.
I meant to write of what burdened my heart:
My doubt, my fear, my sorrow, my pain.
I meant to write of what I had lost:
My leg, my hope, my friend with no name.
I meant to write of what you would not wish to know.
Of what no one would want to know.
Of what everyone should know.
Instead, I wrote,
I love you.