PRISONERS OF WAR
Held knee deep in water's rage,
We watch the world through a bamboo cage.
With the snake and leech a home we share,
But no one visits, none would care.
Once we held our rifles high and true,
To our native land we paid our due.
Now, by the world, thought of not,
By our own nation we are forgot.
We watched our brothers dig as slaves,
The shallow holes to be their graves...
In distorted awe, wondering why,
We were considered "lucky" not to die.
As, between remorse and envy, rationale warps,
Rendering us a non-existent, living corpse.
Yes we survived, knowing not what for.
Left behind we'll die, prisoners of war.
Arlington, a place prepared quite nice
For our brothers who paid the ultimate price.
Countless slabs of pale, cold stone,
The celebrated graves of the unknown.
Might a cross better symbolize a soul
Who couldn't cross the bridge but paid the toll?
Handed a gun he couldn't fire,
To live or die, walking a wire.
Now, Prisoners Of War Eternally Resting,
Still bear no claim to the lines they we're nesting.
Unremembered, unrewarded, unsung, unknown,
Each lies in rot ‘neath a one word headstone.
Yet, unfazed by foulness and stench,
Thousands amass to heed this wench,
Where men who once stood proud and tall
Are now, merely, names upon a wall.
So we pay our respects and grief
Looking on in utter disbelief,
At this, the war's highest achievable prize
In shame even Arlington's beauty can't guise.
For government would have them do it again,
Fight a causeless war behind a poison pen.
But they can't justify a reason for
Forty-six thousand dead prisoners of war.
Surviving veterans coming home,
Spit on, laughed at, a hero's welcome.
Two years ago left a kid on a whim.
He returns home now, missing a limb.
The cuts and wounds, they scar and heal,
But a bleeding heart may never seal.
Two years later a mind been scaled
By sheer coldness the war unveiled.
Turning, jumping at every sound,
A slammed door drops him to the ground.
Still suffering from the pain inflicted,
Or succumbing to the needle, addicted.
Still fighting a war inside,
Still clinging to the diseased pride
Once held in such unparalleled manner,
Defending some other star spangled banner.
Now they come home scarred, maimed and blind.
Some come home without their mind.
Then some come home just a man been tore.
But they all come home - prisoners of war.
They used to hang gold stars in the window.
Placed there in proud display to show
(Sent to defend a striving land),
Another soldier making his stand.
Too young to die, too far to roam,
Now another soldier won't be home.
Just twenty-one rifles blasting the sky,
For service to country? - A venerable goodbye.
Laid to rest in a grave of gloom,
Slave to other's vengeance, a voiceless tomb.
As a family learns to live with pain,
Memories of a son they lost in vain.
Still, they find it hard to choke the tears,
Though the images fade through the years.
For the picture still hangs on the wall
Of a boy who answered a man's call.
The fire of life beneath his eyes, benign.
Says, "Only here, may gold stars ever shine."
Still each day in it's view hearts grow sore,
But then it seems we're all prisoners of war.
[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 10-28-1999).]