You & Me

You and me are the same; of equal value and standing
But today you and I, we did two very different things:

At work you lack sleep because you were out late
With friends drinking at a ball game;

I woke after four hours sleep to go on another patrol
Because they needed more men.

You had a meal in your home, surrounded by your loved ones
Probably watching TV and not talking to one another at all;

I ate my meal on the Syrian border from a crate of MRE’s on my Stryker
I picked shrapnel out of it, trying to remember when that one happened.

You dropped the leftover change into the tip cup of the barista
And neither one of you knew the war was really “still going on?”

I exposed myself to enemy fire as I ran between the positions
My men held to survey the scene, and bring more ammo – twice.

You got your paycheck and bitched about taxes you’re paying
And how bonuses shrank this year, which is ‘total bullshit’;

I didn’t even know it was payday, and my check went directly
Into a bank account I only pray I live long enough to use one day.

Today your cell rang to let you know a guy was quitting and that would
Put the project behind – you spilled your latte and were pissed;

Today I crouched in a shallow ditch and tried to keep one of my men alive
Long enough for the medevac bird, knowing even if he survives I’m still down one.

You slapped a yellow ribbon magnet to the trunk of your Lexus
Because, you know, you support the troops – and that’s popular;

Today I asked a man to lay down his life to gain and hold a piece of ground
We both knew that was a possibility, but he didn’t know I’d ask that today – nor did I.

The only difference was I knew about everything you were doing
Because I envied it, longed for it, and dreamt about it;

The only difference was you had no idea I or anyone else
With me even existed.

This work is by no means meant to ignore the thousands who sent care packages, raised funds and awareness for, or directly supported the servicemen and women deployed or returned; these are my feelings about the selfish, ignorant majority that easily forget, if they even knew at all in the first place…

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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7 Responses to You & Me

  1. Yep, pretty much nails it. And the anger created by this unknowing (uncaring?) can absolutely eat us alive.

    We must always be alert to this anger sneaking up on us, slowing eating away our soul.


    • True that – in the end the only one it’s hurting is you and me.


      • Man, I could share a link to a post I wrote that I intend to still pull down at some point. Email me privately and I’ll show you how deep the fire burns in me on some days. (So far, I haven’t pulled it because I’m not sure I won’t to forget how I once was/sometimes still am.)


        • briansteuber says:

          Hey I was very weary in what to write because of my government job. But knowing others write about their feelings makes me put faith in recovering to a normal level

          Liked by 1 person

          • I worry less about what Uncle Sam will think of my writing and more what others might think or feel. Sure we all gotta pay the bills but after years of thought and contemplation I realize – those thoughts and feelings (and these words) are mine and I earned them. They can’t take that and if they did well, there’d be hell to pay!

            I’m glad you’re writing as well!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. The Lady says:

    Hi, I am not an American but I really feel for people whose lives are on the line everyday.
    There are still others who are unable to feed their families and others who have no work… I really enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

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