(with apologies to Thomas Hardy)
Who is this man, who stands in the night,
Known to so few and blinded in sight?
If he defends a God unnamed,
Should his fear go unblamed?
Watching darkness without seeing,
Fear of dying, fear of breathing,
Can this man discharge his post,
Should he be our holy ghost?
Sights unheard and sounds unseen,
The jungle lies as taunting bait.
Who is this man, what is his plight,
That nature's echo should bear him fright?
Who is this man, all alone in the black,
Without a friend to guard his back?
Should the terror spark his ire,
Shall friend or foe see his fire?
Perched on a dime, unable to fall,
A lapse of silence means Hell for all.
On this man should you rely,
Or simply give yourselves to die?
Black without depth, bitter beyond taste,
The jungle lies, and suffers no haste.
Who is this man, what does he do,
That comforts, and yet frightens you?
Who is this man, who has no fame,
And stands his post without a name?
Should the war come to the wire,
Can you trust he will not tire?
Sleep ye well, my mighty warriors,
For safety now is truly yours.
Your guard shall die before you wake,
For only God's and warrior's sake.
Your guard prepares for what may be,
And ready stands to duty see.
Who is this man you never knew,
And "what for you" did he do?
The author wishes to remain anonymous, but his copyright is assigned. This Warrior served in
the 9th Infantry Division (US Army) - Mekong Delta - '68-'69.