Soldier Boy

Before I share this, I'd like to say this took me eighteen pages of notebook paper, eight nights, and half an hour per part. So really, I spent three hours working on this poem. It's probably my greatest poetic achievement and I hope you enjoy it. Sincerely, Colton M. H.

Part I: Before the War

It was years ago, I think,

Yet I remember it as if it were yesterday.

When a soldier boy left this town of woe,

A soldier boy meant to return years ago today.

His hair was as dark as coffee,

And his blue eyes as bright as the sun.

With skin tanned the color of toffee-

(And he was a fallen soldier's son.)

Surely, you know what happens to

The sons of fallen soldiers, born afterwards.

Those without love from a girl who's eyes are blue,

Or green, or any shade, but just always inwards.

Distanced from the outside world,

Until they join the army, like their fathers-

And across the country, across the world, they are hurled.

While the media hears and prepares- and gathers.

This soldier boy, with coffee-colored hair,

And his eyes so bright and blue,

Was unknowingly his father's heir,

To death that was quite undue.

For this happens to those born to fallen soldiers,

And sons of fallen generals too.

His name was Private Domnic, a solider boy who was more than a fighter.

He was a lover, with one girl as his pick.

Whom with he always wanted to be with… together.

Her hair long and light, like the stars at night,

Her eyes similar to his- blue, and they pulled him in to her.

Now, Private Domnic was no fool-

He was cautious with his love.

He knew heartbreak could film him like water in a pool,

And she could leave him like she was not his dove.

For despite the beauty she was to him,

He knew- or more likely thought- she fit him like a glove.

The two had been friends for ages,

Growing up together in this small town.

And Domnic had fallen for her, as people did with help of mages,

In days of old, when paper was brown.

Fortune was against him though, as there was no requited love.

Unrequited love, a fatherless soldier boy,

Who told himself he would be bold,

Knowing that his dearest was not to toy,

And he wanted her- just to hold,

In his arms, and love- a requited love.

And she pushed him from her body,

Saying "love is not for me,

I'm sorry, but you know I'm not to toy.

And I'd rather you let me be,

If that is how you feel."

So soldier boy Domnic nodded and left,

His hear broken, he prepared for the next day,

When he'd be sent to war, his heart open to theft,

On a plane flying over the bay,

With lift-off tomorrow evening.

So Domnic prepared to leave-

Heartbroken, and willing to be killed,

As the ancient prophets weave

The stories of the damned.

He boarded the plane, solemn,

His fellow soldiers ready for combat- ready for a fight.

But not him, holding onto a thin column,

As the plane began to lift into flight.

And, as he looked out the window,

He saw, on a bench, the girl he loved,

Crying, as would a widow,

With tears on her face wiped away from her hands, which were gloved.

He turned away as soldiers laughed-

Private Thomson by him telling a joke,

And he joined in, and also joked.

For his mind wandered, but jokes distracted him,

From the pain he felt, and so, you see,

He knew laughter could come at whim.

But, he also knew it could leave,

And soon, very soon, it would.

For he was a soldier boy, off to war.

Part II: Over There

Bombs fell around as the plane came in,

Rockets swooshing and zooming through the air,

As the ramp came down and the soldiers came out of its tin,

Looking around, the explosions were distant in the warfare.

The general, General McKinley, was bold-

And smoked a large cigar as he barked orders,

So Domnic was told,

As far off he heard rushing waters.

Domnic gulped, as orders were given-

To flank guard, and protect the rear from attack,

Was the order for these men,

Who saw nothing in it tragic.

So off they went, onwards to war-

To death, for which to no man it bent, Domnic knew this, as he saw the horror.

Grenades and shrapnel- they flew in the air.

Screams and explosions- they accompanied those two.

Bullets and swords- went through people, alike claws on a bear.

Injury and death- accompanied these two too.

Day went on, night never fell.

And he felt he'd never return to his love in time due.

For as the day stretched on,

And people died left and right-

Domnic got stained in blood on him, like his don-

An Italian man, who had fell in battle- a fight,

And we all know what happens to sons of fallen soldiers,

They never leave, ever, the eternal night.

Yet what this was, was not day nor night-

It was chaos- nothing more nothing less.

And so Domnic fought with all his might,

In this battle- this mess.

People around him died, staining him with blood.

All of them pawns in life's game of chess.

MicKinley yelled orders to men-

The soldiers fought harder and harder,

Day, night, evening, morning- no matter when,

No matter how, victory should have no barter-

This army was going to win, McKinley knew.

"Your men, not mice-

Fight, by Jove! Or may luck be in our favor, I hope.

For you fight like women so nice,

And that is not fine, because that makes the gals at home mope!"

He yelled, hoping to motivate his soldiers.

The enemy pressed on as night fell-

Even in exhaustion, everyone fought.

Waiting for victory's bell,

But it never came- broke lose in Hell, Domnic bought,

Or so I think it was.

Domnic wondered what, back home,

The woman he had left thought.

Her rejection ignored now, as does a mome,

As the two sides fought,

Love driving Domnic on.

And as things cooled,

Domnic pressed on in the battle.

Not being fooled,

As he heard machine gun rattle.

Helicopters flew overhead-

As on the ground the enemy, at last,

Finally retreated, leaving the dead.

As there was a sail's mast.

Fleeing on water, they were-

The battle over at last.

And that night the victors would celebrate like Men of Mer,

As the enemy had fled fast.

The war would go on- the knew.

But the beach was theirs.

And that was all they cared for few.

Victory- at the time-

Looked worth every loss,

But not an extra dime.

Domnic, though longed for home.

He missed his love.

For he was a soldier boy, off to war.

Part III: Mail Day

Three weeks had passed away-

Like the souls of so many dead.

And yet this was a special day, today.

As Domnic and some friends drank mead,

McKinley came in, and with a shout,

He yelled "Soldiers! Today is mail day!

Bet your letters and get out!"

And everyone nodded, to get some mail this Saturday.

Paul, Steve, and even Tom, the Major, got mail.

As Sam, Joe, and Pete went to get a letter.

Now Domnic stood, as down fell hail,

The tent getting wetter.

He approached the mail bag,

As McKinley smoked his cigar,

And pulled out a letter, from this rag-

Well, a bag, but on it the word "HAGAR".

Domnic read the letter from home-

His eyes tearing up. His mother had died,

And all the while he read this tome,

About how Anna missed him, and had been tried for a case of mistaken identity,

And he had nearly cried.

"dear Domnic," it read.

"I miss you so very muich- more than I thought,"

It said- and as he went through it, he drank his mead,

And to hold back tears he fought.

"Your mom died last week-

I tried to save her from what she caught,"

"Every day I think of you,

As your mother did till the day she died,

And I hope you've thought of me too,

I'll do anything for you, as your time you bide.

When you come home,

I know I won't hide."

He didn't believe what was wrote,

His love finally loved him back,

When off to war he was, enemies to smote,

And for meals hard tack,

His mother dead, but his love requited.

He knew not if depression or joy was stronger,

Emotion overcoming him.

Grief of his mother's death, but joy longer,

His lover across oceans not dim.

As he longed for home.

But, at the least, ten months remained,

Until he could return,

As he felt profaned,

As if his lover was returning his love in turn,

While he would never see her again.

For he was doomed, you see,

Being the son of a fallen fighter,

Lost by the sea,

Buried ever tighter,

Under layers of rock.

But, at the least, he was glad.

No anger, no envy, no hate.

Yes, he was sade,

His mother was gone, but he had a mate.

Or so he hoped, when that night he slept,

The tents full of talk,

Talk that the tents kept,

And it did not from his ten-to-tent walk.

A relieved soldier boy.

A grieved for mom, yes, perhaps,

A girl with whom he would not toy,

A war in the maps.

No one knew what was to come.

To this soldier boy,

And his very-English mum.

Death, he hoped, was done with him.

As the moon gently glowed,

Among the stars so dim.

Life was not done.

Nor was death.

For he was a soldier boy, off to war.

Part IV: Rowing Across the Channel

The final week of combat,

Domnic had lived to now,

As his general took off his hat.

"Boys, we made it here, how?

We fought like men, and here we are-

At the channel- right now, for a test.

Ready to raise the bar,

And row across this, because we're the best."

So the soldiers got in row boats,

And across the channel they rowed-

Silent, like it was a moat.

One of the boats – with one man – being towed.

"Love is fine, for younger men,"

Domnic said. "But us guys here,

We ain't so young," said McKinely, who's time had been.

"But this here's war, not love so queer,"

Domnic nodded solemnly,

Knowing his love was back home.

So he rowed calmly,

Under night's protective dome.

"I remember, back in the day.

We'd fight our war games," said a soldier- Holmes.

The three in the boat with him nodded,

All remembering the same.

As their stomachs knotted,

Remembering it was a game.

And in the air fell cannonballs,

And their boat knew not when fate came.

The metallic sphere hits them-

And the boat is splintered.

In the water, blood is there but dim.

Domnic treads water, the debris centered,

In turn, around him,

As he hopes for rescue.

Rescue comes, in the form of another boat-

He is the only survivor, with just a broken arm.

As the boat crosses this natural moat,

Hoping the enemy would disarm,

Knowing it wouldn't though.

Cannons fire more, shot after shot,

As the rowboat continues on.

The water, with blood making it red, looking hot.

And Domnic turns to John,

And says weakly:

"Why us? Why tonight?

All that die will be too many dead,

No matter our might,

Our friends will be counted by head,

Even in the afterlife."

And then, Domnic knew his fate.

He was going to die in war,

Never to see his love- his date.

No matter how much more,

The number of victories is.

For who really wins in war?

Anyone, other than Death himself,

Who wants war more,

Is unaware only Death wins, the rest deaf

To the sound of peace bells.

For soldiers are too old for love,

After they return,

They cannot catch that dove,

Sadly in return.

But, alas, they crossed.

And the battle was won.

And the old flag was tossed,

Like old cinnamon.

Domnic wrote home,

To his love,

That night was a protective dome,

And that his love needed a new dove.

He knew his time was nearly done now,

And told his love that.

But not how.

He said the pox.

He knew had lied.

For he was a soldier boy, done with war.

Part V: Death and a Letter

Domnic had fought for thirty weeks,

And he was tired of war itself,

From the seas and plains, to mountain peaks,

He had fought everywhere himself.

So as around him bullets flew,

In this his final battle, by his hands,

His time was due.

Just as he snapped two bands.

He raised his gun, and took aim.

"I'm done with war" he said,

And prepared to pull the trigger, to maim.

As he lowered his head,

He closed his eyes,

And yelled again,

All his good byes,

As there he begins.

No one stopped, no one saw,

No one, that he knew, hopped-

To stop him here.

So he sighed,

And began to pull the trigger.

BAM! HE dropped, his body fell.

The gun hit the ground,

As he escaped this Hell,

And approached a war hound.

It was Death's own, with a bell,

That rang for each death.

No one stopped and saw,

As Death walked towards the dead boy,

Who had blood in his jaw,

Like a soldier-modeled toy

He lay there, still,

As chaos occurred.

He was looked at by the Reaper,

Who shook his boney head,

Thinking of the weeper,

Back home at the news of the dead,

Domnic's face was scarred.

And so Death, the Reaper so Grim, left,

After evaluating Domnic's life.

No crime, no serious sin. And no theft.

The boy had no rife,

Until this fateful day.

For Domnic had died, it was true.

And self responsible at that,

Yes, it had been due.

But not that way, like Pat,

It was due at another's hands.

So it was for naught,

As others fell,

As always, and the battle was hot,

As hot and red as Hell,

For that's what it was.

The letter home, though,

Would say he died from the pox-

And this was true, although,

The pox had not placed him in the box.

As his love sat on a bench, waiting for news from him,

She heard a finch,

And knew life would grow grim.

For she would not know,

That Domnic died at his own hands,

Oh with much woe,

After snapping two bands.

She wished now for his love, of the newly dead.

Not knowing that she'd never have this dove.

The newly dead,

She thought still lived,

And hoped to be his newly wed.

And then she read the letter,

And weept tears.

For he was no longer a soldier boy.

Part VI: The Funereal

The funereal procession,

Dreary and grim,

Walked slowly, to the beat of percussion.

As the faces around were dim,

The coffin, still open,

Held the body of deceased Domnic.

Who lay silently in the coffin.

His face cleaned to look new,

His hands folded together on his chest.

As the few not crying teared up- the very few.

As he, Domnic, was dressed his best.

A sad thing it is, I think,

That people dress the nicest at their funereal,

Not on Death's brink,

But past it, at their burial.

Domnic's love wept,

Knowing she had lost at love,

The one thing she thought she kept,

As away flew two doves- and a turtle dove.

The preacher bowed his head and said some words,

As into the grave Domnic was lowered.

He hit the bottom, the lid shut.

As rain began to fall on them,

As workers erected a tent-like hut,

And the rain made the scene more grim.

People wept and prayed for him,

As Domni'cs lover- sweet Anna-

Left it, her eyes full of tears.

Anna, the loveless girl now,

Walked away in tears, of sadness,

And wondered to herself how,

How her life had become a mess.

And she knew, oh she knew,

She couldn't go on like this.

So she walked out,

Leaving behind the gravestones,

And looked about,

Hearing horribly sad weeping and moans,

From the funereal.

She walked down,

To the park,

In the center of town.

As day turned dark,

Clouds over head.

She wished- oh, how she wished!

She had said yes to him,

When he had been here and asked,

In a sweet and caring voice, for her love, in night's dim,

Under a full, harvest moon.

But wishing doesn't change things,

This is known by all,

From the mightiest kings,

To the mice that live in the hall,

Both wishing the other was gone.

The wind gently stopped-

And slowly Anna looked up, so slowly,

She didn't believe her eyes- up she hopped!

And there, stood and apparition so lovely.

She smiled- there she saw Domnic.

He smiled back slowly,

As he pulled down a branch, showing apples ready to pick,

And she moved slow, as if this was holy.

And in a gust of wind,

Just like leaves in fall,

With winter around the bend,

And spring across the hall.

So she wept and stopped- seeing a letter.

She piecked it up,

And unfolded it with the speed of a better.

"Dear Anna," it read, as she went on.

"By time you see this, I will be dead.

Please, please remember me, now gone."

"I fought for your love,

And died- knowing it would never be."

"At my own hands, for I am no longer a soldier boy."