Soldier's Lament

By John Paul Rossie

Why do I pretend that I can still be cold and cruel?
Why do I still dream that I can hate?
Why do I feel I'm not too old to break under the strain
and that I can still endure,
when I know that, after all these years of remorse,
my body is broken and my soul is bruised?
Why do these things seem to be so easy, in my dreams,
yet leave me with a sense of loss and loathing when I awake?
What tricks of torture do I put myself through
that I can't lay down that sword of hatred and revenge
and foolishness and unenlightenment
that would allow me to take the life of another?
Why haven't I absorbed the lessons that time has taught me
about the futile effects of evil and uselessness of ego?
Why do I still dream that I'm a soldier?

Copyright © 1995 by John Paul Rossie, All Rights Reserved