The Truth Within

“The Lieutenant’s a Hajji-lover!” you said.

For my empathy towards the tortured souls

Awash in the churn between us and the enemy,

Stuck. Maybe you were right.


Made me weak, you thought – too soft.

But in time sentiment felt for the innocents went,

As my eyes became deaf to their position and

Plight – just like to everything else.


And in May when it came calling, you saw;

Stomach contents emptied, woozy and unwell

Confronted up close with the man you just killed

The smell of blood, burnt flesh and cordite in the air.


That day you stood off to the side alone, by the Stryker

That day I stood over the bodies, and ate a granola bar.

We all get tested. Did I pass?

Did you?

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.
This entry was posted in War Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s