By Felicita “Terry” Robinson

Fresh out of college is someone’s son or brother
Maybe a kid searching for good and encouraged by his mother
Or perhaps a teacher, a dropout or a taxi driver
All now standing on the threshold of war, as a survivor
And faced with a mission larger than life
To kill or be killed by the enemy with a gun or a knife

Filled with a patriotic purpose
Pumped up with great expectations to serve us
Forced to be brave; forced to be strong
Trembling on the inside hoping to do nothing wrong
Seeking strength in cigarettes; letters from home
comic books; a movie; or anything to stop feeling alone

Action! And the noise of war makes a new surround sound
And comrades and enemies alike fall to the ground
Strong hands hold a cold metal as renewed vigor appears
And eyes see life unfolding in slow-motion, as fear disappears
And the gun, now a weapon of pure destruction
Strengthens the mission of a soldier completing his initiation

Finally, the horrors of war are over, but have only just begun
Gone are the days when life was like a song
And gone are carefree thoughts of an uncluttered mind
Now filled with nightmares that are sometimes unkind
But a deeper understanding of life is unfurled
As the young soldier aged by war becomes a man in the real world

Felicita “Terry” Robinson is a budding writer (now 75!), having published a true story of faith and answered prayers (iUniverse), as well as a poem (published by National Library of Poetry, as part of their Surrounded by Dreams edition).