Silent Death, Steel Rain

When they come in you cringe

freeze-up right quick, and listen

because the next thud will tell you

if it’s getting closer or not

At night when you’re asleep,

when you’re eating your chow –

five, six times a day like clockwork

the mortars would rain in Mosul

A muffled crumple shakes the room

like angry footsteps outside,

a giant striding across camp;

the footsteps of death himself

Your ears perk up, heart skips

will the next one be the one?

I slept with my body armor

right next to my bed, petrified

They hit the motor pool once,

as we scrambled like cockroaches

racing to raise the Stryker’s ramps

before the next one came in

I hated mortars.

They had men on the inside

who’d paced off the camp, and

their friends were a decent shot

They knew we had nothing,

could do nothing, can’t stop them

had to take it, hide from them –

They knew they killed sleep

And they loved it.

About anotherwarriorpoet

Mathew Bocian served as a Captain in the United States Army with the Stryker Brigade and was deployed to Mosul and Tal'Afar in 2004 - 2005, and to Baghdad for The Surge in 2007 - 2008. He left the Army in 2012 and now uses his poetry as a way to heal from the traumas of war, while attempting to express to readers the realities of war. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and holds a master's from the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
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