I hear the low rumble of force and fear

The distance closing soon to be upon me

Reigning down to ravage the landscape

Wrenching the very life from all and sunder

I steel myself in fading moments of calm

Connecting with my soul in brief stillness

Knowing this could be the last time

I may know myself or look at my reflection

To see and remember those I love so dear

And those who dearly love and behold me

I feel my heart fall at the starting post

As fear and force grip me in stark contrast

I have little choice as the burgeoning moment

Paces itself ever onward with reality stamping

In my face vying for strength, for cowardice to

Disperse and clear the path for the oncoming

Wagon of battle to free the world from this

Tyrant and wash ourselves clean of war and woe

Stale air creeps upon me, the familiar smell

Of bodies gaping with wounds, of blood

Spattered stains upon the earth, of tears

And sweat mingled with the raging war cry

To see others silently yet fearfully steady themselves

Before the terrifying spectacle that besets

I know you as my enemy and must remain

In this mindset to stand me strong to do my duty

But yet I want to shake your hand and know you

As we are the same in our order of the day

Without choice we are here to settle the score

Not between one another but for the bigger

Wheel that turns with freedom as its epitaph

We will not be defeated despite the loss of life

Even the threat of connecting with our final hours

I shriek the battle call and find myself running

Toward the firing line, caught up in the melee

Of ordered combat that finds itself torn apart

Amid the frenzy of body upon body

That cannot allow boundaries their space

The message and focus to sleigh the foe

I strike out with physical force into flesh

That tears apart with ease of human vulnerability

Then feel a force within that flails me to the ground

My mind and body hitting the dirt and filth

Face sinking, forced into the mixture of bloody mud

I wonder is this my moment absorbed into darkness

Becoming unaware of the continued chapter around me

Knowing not if I will survive or be at deaths door

My duty is done and those around wear the poppy

Of remembrance, of courage and ultimate sacrifice

Allowing their freedom to be continued and realised

And I wear the medal of honour but reap the scars

To live another day that will never dawn the same

Passing those that do not know my wounds that persist

Nonetheless I am lucky, given the chance to live my life

To feel the embrace, skin upon skin of those I love