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Passions in Poetry

Small Pain in My Chest

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Balladeer
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0 posted 11-11-2010 04:10 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You know how it is, friends....need to do it every year



I try to repost this every Veteran's Day in rememberance. It's not necessary for those of you who have seen it over the years to respond. You
have responded many times and I am grateful for every one. It's just my tradition...
.
.

.
.


The soldier boy was sitting calmly underneath that tree.
As I approached it, I could see him beckoning to me.
The battle had been long and hard and lasted through the night
And scores of figures on the ground lay still by morning's light

"I wonder if you'd help me, sir", he smiled as best he could."
A sip of water on this morn would surely do me good.
We fought all day and fought all night with scarcely any rest -
A sip of water for I have a small pain in my chest."

As I looked at him, I could see the large stain on his shirt
All reddish-brown from his warm blood mixed in with Asian dirt.
"Not much", said he. "I count myself more lucky than the rest.
They're all gone while I just have a small pain in my chest."

"Must be fatigue", he weakIy smiled. "I must be getting old.
I see the sun is shining bright and yet I'm feeling cold.
We climbed the hill, two hundred strong, but as we cleared the crest,
The night exploded and I felt this small pain in my chest."

"I looked around to get some aid - the only things I found
Were big, deep craters in the earth - bodies on the ground.
I kept an firing at them, sir. I tried to do my best,
But finally sat down with this small pain in my chest."

"I'm grateful, sir", he whispered, as I handed my canteen
And smiled a smile that was, I think, the brightest that I've seen.
"Seems silly that a man my size so full of vim and zest,
Could find himself defeated by a small pain in his chest."

"What would my wife be thinking of her man so strong and grown,
If she could see me sitting here, too weak to stand alone?
Could my mother have imagined, as she held me to her breast,
That I'd be sitting HERE one day with this pain in my chest?"

"Can it be getting dark so soon?" He winced up at the sun.
"It's growing dim and I thought that the day had just begun.
I think, before I travel on, I'll get a little rest ..........
And, quietly, the boy died from that small pain in his chest

I don't recall what happened then. I think I must have cried;
I put my arms around him and I pulled him to my side
And, as I held him to me, I could feel our wounds were pressed
The large one in my heart against the small one in his chest.
.
.


© Copyright 2010 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
JerryPat
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since 10-30-2010
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1 posted 11-11-2010 04:12 PM       View Profile for JerryPat   Email JerryPat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JerryPat's Home Page   View IP for JerryPat

Very touching. Thank you.

. . . and the Raven said, %!~#&(&#!$!

Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
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Listening to every heart


2 posted 11-11-2010 04:34 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Tradition is as tradition does.

Thank you for all you've given us over time.

Amaryllis
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since 05-20-2010
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Mi now


3 posted 11-11-2010 05:26 PM       View Profile for Amaryllis   Email Amaryllis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Amaryllis

That is so touching, so needed today... thank you for sharing it, handsome     
.
~A
Andrew Scott
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since 06-24-99
Posts 2655
Redlands,CA,USA


4 posted 11-11-2010 09:17 PM       View Profile for Andrew Scott   Email Andrew Scott   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Andrew Scott

Always a worthy read, no matter the day. My gratitude to all vets.
latearrival
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since 03-21-2003
Posts 4407
Florida


5 posted 11-12-2010 01:15 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Look forward to it. Did you  put it on facebook?
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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6 posted 11-12-2010 01:54 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I was going to say that I consider this your best, but there are others, too.

You've been a fine friend and mentor, and I need to say "thank you" to you as well, for your service to our country as well as your generosity to me personally.

(I will always love a slant rhyme though.)

*smile*

The same to you, as I said to Dave, when something reads this smoothly and easily, and leaves such emotional impact--that is when craft becomes art.

Be well.

Mysteria
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7 posted 11-12-2010 02:24 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

You sure know how to, "play with your feet" well     The kids liked this one better by the way with the pictures.  Tasha said, "Is he wearing a flag?"  I said, "Yup, wears it all the time."     Thank you for putting it up again Michael.  
Balladeer
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8 posted 11-12-2010 07:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

JerryPat...I thank you

Sunshine...without our traditions, we are little more than piddlers on the roof (or something like that!)  

What I have given I have received 100 fold and, for that, I thank YOU.

Amaryllis...thank you for your kindness, as always, and may your eyesight never improve!!

Sir Andrew....and I salute you, also, for all that you are.

late....no, I didn't....maybe next year  

Serenity...slant rhymes look good on you. If I could write like you, I would never rhyme again. You are a good example of someone I would always fight to protect.....be well.

Mysteria...thank you for sharing it with the girls! That really means a lot to me. Wearing a flag? LOL!  Yep...and proudly. Best to you and all Canadians on your Remembrance Day!
Elizabeth Santos
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since 11-08-1999
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Pennsylvania


9 posted 11-12-2010 07:31 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

The best poem to appear on PIP
I look forward each year to reading this , and now my grandchildren are included in the audience.
a great, great poem
liz
Balladeer
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10 posted 11-12-2010 07:39 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, dear friend. I can't tell you how much it means to see your words...and you! Don't ever worry me like that again!!!
Dakota
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since 05-25-2000
Posts 115
New York


11 posted 11-12-2010 09:31 PM       View Profile for Dakota   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dakota

Balladeer,

This is the first time I have had the Honor to read this, so emotional and heartfelt. The feelings inspired by your words leave me "With a small pain in my chest".
Beautifully written!!

Dave
Prasad Nataraj
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since 05-29-2008
Posts 1119
Bangalore,India


12 posted 11-15-2010 08:24 AM       View Profile for Prasad Nataraj   Email Prasad Nataraj   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Prasad Nataraj's Home Page   View IP for Prasad Nataraj

Fine writing from a fine poet.

"Hardwork pays in the long run"

Earl Brinkman
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since 03-03-2010
Posts 1185
Osaka, Japan


13 posted 11-15-2010 08:58 AM       View Profile for Earl Brinkman   Email Earl Brinkman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Earl Brinkman

A very touching story that was well written.  Thank you.
Alison
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14 posted 11-15-2010 10:34 AM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

I agree. This poem is among your best that I have read. It never fails to leave me feeling quiet inside.

Thank you for sharing each year.

Alison
suthern
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on the threshold of a dream


15 posted 11-15-2010 01:31 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

I wasn't here to read... but I was thinking of this on Veterans Day and hoping you'd posted it. It is one of the finest tributes to veterans I could imagine and one of the best poems I'll ever read... even though I inevitably read it through a sheen of tears.

Thank you, Michael... for the writing... for the posting... and for your service. May God richly bless you and all who've served this great country.
Balladeer
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16 posted 11-15-2010 06:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Dakota...I thank you very much, sir. I'm very glad you felt it.

Prasad....I appreciate the praise - from a fine poet!

Earl........I thank you, sir.

Alison...your comments are always appreciated. Thank you, my friend.

Suthern gal.....thank you for the thank you's. I know this poem was a favorite of yours and that what's-his-name fellow who also fought for his country and is deserving of a great deal of respect...how is ole Toerag boy, anyway???
s1nfully_1nn0c3nt
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since 10-26-2003
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17 posted 11-15-2010 08:21 PM       View Profile for s1nfully_1nn0c3nt   Email s1nfully_1nn0c3nt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit s1nfully_1nn0c3nt's Home Page   View IP for s1nfully_1nn0c3nt

This is truly beautiful. After reading this, I was not crying- my eyes we're simply uhhh..."sweating". Thanks for sharing.

-Trina.

"A heart that can't feel its broken- can't heal."
sasanka7
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18 posted 12-14-2010 02:19 PM       View Profile for sasanka7   Email sasanka7   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for sasanka7

It has touched me so much that I could not resist myself but to forward some of my best friends. Thanks for presenting so nice poem.
sasanka7
Dark Stranger
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since 03-19-2001
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West Coast


19 posted 12-14-2010 02:34 PM       View Profile for Dark Stranger   Email Dark Stranger   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dark Stranger

lest we ever forget...a fine tribute deer!!
Balladeer
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20 posted 12-14-2010 03:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you all
Ringo
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Saluting with misty eyes


21 posted 12-14-2010 05:31 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

And every year, Mike, I enjoy it more and more.
I apologize for missing it the first go round this year.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

sweetness20@juno.com
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22 posted 12-14-2010 05:55 PM       View Profile for sweetness20@juno.com   Email sweetness20@juno.com   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for sweetness20@juno.com

The poem was very touching.
Mysteria
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23 posted 05-31-2011 12:07 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Surprised this didn't get a lift to the top today, so allow me. It is still today here.
Alison
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24 posted 05-31-2011 12:24 AM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Thank you, Sharon.  I never thought of doing that, though I did think of this poem.  Memorial Day really chokes me up - this poem expresses the reason why.

I have had people actually tell me to have a "Happy Memorial Day".  I have nothing against happiness, even happiness today.  But, today is not about my happiness or my desire to celebrate.

Today, I simply remember.

Again, thank you for bringing this back up.

Alison
 
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