A Soldiers Poem
By Sergeant Smokepole aka Bruce Rapa

June and July are steamy times
for playing cowboy games.
But now I'm sitting, making rhymes,
as a man with a strange name.
People ask how I settled on this,
my moniker so trite.
I tell them that it came from an abyss
handed down from a Sergeants Right.
I am one as a Lawdog, true
And am as a retired Marine
I wear my colors proud.... Blue
And keep my Honor clean
Just like the hymn that means so much
to every Marine since their Corps began
In my heart a little touch
from those before me, by their hand.
So Honor is an outdated code
many these days sound out.
But to a Marine Honor is everything
Who cares about dishonorable louts?
So here I end my verse of old
Like Marines have always done
We, The Few, The Proud, The Bold
Semper Fi until the setting sun

Limbers Up! Cry the battery commanders as shells explode over head
The Infantry needs our support before they are all dead.
Load powder, shot and tamp the shell.
Pick the charge, prime, fire and give them yanks hell.

Men cry from fear as the battle rages,
hoping that someday, their loved ones they will see.
Nothing about this in storybook pages.
Fear so bad it'll make you pee.

Not for Country, Flag or money do they fight
these good men of The South.
But for their brothers alongside them that night
They hope to make the rout.

Over hill, dead bodies, trenches and shell hole
they try to make a low crawl.
To stop the invaders of their land
Those Confederate Infantry.

Piles and piles of limbs in the rear
from those who have been wounded serious
like discarded pieces of broken gear,
those brave souls, they cry delirious

Quickly, they reach their intended goal
with only one thing in mind
Let's take this hill, my mare's in foal,
Home is a word so kind

Roads of wounded, dead and scared
they go for miles and miles.
In hope that they would soon be spared
their limbs dropped in those piles.

So many die in that field of blood.
And keep their honor true.
The ground's soft as if after a flood,
From those invaders wearing blue.

The call goes out to one and all.
We're out of ca'tridges, fix bayonets, prepare to charge.
They stand and face the cannon ball
like Men, both small and large.

Until the time when all wars end
this scenario will continue.
Kill, die, cry for a friend
As Men of Honor do.

Victory is not always to the right
As history has shown.
As men cry and die through the night
for what is for a flag flown

Whiskey given to the dying Men
because the ether has run out.
And all of this will start again
at the whim of political clout.

Exactly why do I feel this way?
Some read it here and ask.
It's because I too fell in battle that day
completing my assigned task.

Yankees came and took our land
and gave us not a penny.
They raped and pillaged the defeated as they can
And cared not any

Zealots fought to the bitter end
as true Patriots always do.
When Gentlemen of The South
Fight rabble wearing blue.

Violets are blue.
Roses are red.
We must remain free
or we're better off dead

Unless I'm mistaken
Zeb missed the progression.
The side road by him was taken
as a senior moment procession........

Some days are better than most.
Your gate is slow or fast
Walk a battlefield, feel for The Ghost
Of Soldiers of the past.

True to a Soldier's Creed
No Brother left alone.
They search for those who bleed
and those of broken bone.

Unless you have walked that path
it's really hard to describe.
The pain of a battle's wrath.
without a diatribe.

Victors write the history books
and give the views they share.
The losers must put on the hooks
if anyone is to care.
Win or lose, it's all the same
for Soldiers on The Line.
North or South, whatever the name
of the Soldier in the pine.

Xactly why do I say these words
about soldiers who died in pain?
The Angels all will sing their chords
for those in battle slain.

Yankees or Reb, it doesn't matter
which flag that they fought for.
They all meet as brothers and gather
when they meet at Heaven's door.

Zero is what each had gotten
from this world under the sod.
Their bodies now lie broken and rotten,
But their souls are beautiful with God.

After a battle, the dead they retrieve
and lay them in their resting place.
Their evils in life, God give's reprieve
and smiles upon their face

But those who die in honor's name
we all hold close and dear.
History may give them glory and fame
but all they felt was fear

Call the rolls, the missing mount
never will they muster.
The numbers they will all amount
to piles of limbs in clusters.

Dead scattered throughout the land
They kept their Soldier's Code.
They always lent a helping hand
and shared their Brother's load.

Even a foe, was given aid
when asked and worthy due.
Water, food and medicine were given and not paid
For the butternut and blue.
Friends opposed on either side
this war that crushed our land.
Brother in Battle, true and tried
this madness should be banned.

Gathered at the Hand of God
These Men in battle's strife.
They broke bread underneath His rod
and celebrated each other's life.

Helping a dying foe
shows more of what's in a Man
Than anything that could be bought in a store
in wrappers or in can.

If you think I'm making this up
and that I'm a little rattled.
You're right, I've shared my cup
with a foe, fallen in battle.

Just a word from one who's been there
to those who never have.
A soldier will always care
for a soldier that they must save.

Kill or be killed is the word
that always stays with you.
Fear is strongest like an attacking bird
staying with you till the battle's through.

Life for a Soldier is tough they say
and this is no lie.
Fighting for your brothers
until it is your turn to die.

May wars decrease until no more
and no more mortars to lob
idealism’s will stop at the door
and Soldiers will have no job.

No chance of this you say,
You just may be right.
I leave you with this thought today.
Hug and kiss a Soldier Good Night.

It could be their last.