Joseph Morehead

Rookie (April 22,1993 / Longview Texas)

Murdering Memories - Poem by Joseph Morehead

Sometimes gunfire's brighter than the sunshine
Sometimes a child's scream influences every dream
Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinkin' we've moved on
But no way, no how, do we ever forget what we've seen

It's now twenty-five years later, he's on the brink of fourty-three
Still searchin' for sanity, surveyin' the floor of his distorted sea
He remembers high-school friends jokin' about the war
Never knew what Mom was cryin' for

The other piece that shines in his mind
Is the divine first-love soul-mate beauty brown-eyed queen he left behind
He remembers holdin' her tight, watchin' the sunset at shore
Never knew what she was cryin' for

He got the letter in his mail by the middle of his summer
Wouldn't have had to go if it wasn't for his new born brother
He was barely eighteen, murdering people even younger
And he still ducks and covers every time he hears the thunder

He still hears the screams, smells the flesh, tastes the death
Sees the blood, feels the pain What's to gain?
Nothing's left but the slug that remains in his right path
The bullet laughs every time he cries, and it drives him mad

Trying to sleep, but the visions give him a cold sweat
The war's been over for two decades, but he still hasn't been home yet
Everyday he wakes and strains to repress his guilt
And forget the horror, the violence, the kill-or-be-killed

Fists are always clenched, teeth are always grindin'
Real life is lost, and in a bottle he tries to find it
'It's not fair', he mumbles through a nightmare
Only in the fight for two years, and wound up spendin' his whole life there

He was face to face with the devil for the 'welfare' of his country
Now he's strainin' to live, but his conscience won't let him
It ain't flashbacks, you have to understand the tragedy, see

It's now twenty-five years later, he's on the edge of a park bench
He's asked God for help, but found his source non-existent
He sits in the shadows, 'cause his sun burns no more
Now he knows what Mom was cryin' for

I used to watch old man in the park, the sight slowly drove right
through my heart
Wishin' I could help, but not knowin' where to start
I'd walk away, curse the world, gush some love, and curse some more
Now you know who I've been cryin' for

He threw his medals in the river, but they sunk alone
Put shades on his eyes, to hide him from the war zone in the sky
He tried to slit his wrists about a month ago
But he's seen so much death, he's scared to life of suicide

If there was some way to break him out of this penitentiary
Gulps get bigger and figures it'll chase away his memories
But the dreams only worsen, the scenes almost burst in
He recalls how training took away his right to be a person

Put a gun in his hand, left him to die with the land
The plan was the murder of man
Politicians have a dispute, decide to send in troops
But the truth is, they just don't understand

Now he's runnin' out of time, and runnin' out of energy
But till the last day, he'll be fighting for the murder of his memories
And although he never got rid of his dog-tags
He still wishes they'd have sent his parents and american flag (instead of him)

He was face to face with the devil for the 'welfare' of his country
Now he's strainin' to live, but his conscience won't let him
It ain't flashbacks, you have to understand the tragedy, see

Sometimes gunfire's brighter than the sunshine
Sometimes a child's scream influences every dream
Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinkin' we've moved on
But no way, no how, do we ever forget what we've seen


(2011)


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 11, 2011


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