Thirty Years Later

Pain and sorrow, mingled with hate
In a land of unseen enemies.
A frightened, camouflaged soldier sneaks through the brush.

Practiced ears sense an unwelcome intruder.
The soldier quietly turns toward the presence.
He awaits another move with bated breath.

His heart pounds with fear and excitement.
"Will this be my next kill
Or my last night in country?"

Then Charlie steps into the moonlight.
With quickened breath and racing heart
The American raises his weapon and shoots death.

The American won, if that is possible in war.
Yet all he feels is loneliness, grief and pain.
He lets out a shattering scream of frustration.

The scream wakes him thirty years later.
But still the feelings of pain and loneliness -
And the frustration, always the frustration.

He heaves a tired, tearful sigh and tries to forget.

Leah Bishop

copyright © 1998 by Leah Bishop, all rights reserved

My name is Leah Bishop. I am a 27-year-old wife and the mother of a four-year-old daughter named Danielle. I also work for Heartland Building Products in Booneville, Mississippi.

I'm a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, HHC, 1/185th Avn Bn, home of the OH58D (Kiowa Warrior). I have been in the National Guard for just over 10 years and have the rank of Staff Sergeant. The only other unit that I have been in is the Mississippi Military Academy where I instructed PLDC, BNCOC and OCS.

I would love to hear comments on my poem.


Leah can be reached at: