One Hundred Years That Night

My eyelids weary, I stayed awake
Sleep to me not known
My muscles exhausted and they ache
But diligently I scan my fire zone

On day five of the nine we got
To search this Euphrates town
In that arid river valley so hot
Putrid space of dust, tan and brown

But at night was sheer dark
Hand before your face impossible to see
The hajj will use the night to disembark
Luckily we’ve got our thermal imagery

And I longed for sleep so bad
My sector scanned with eyes but mind awash
Time stretches, slows down and drives you mad
Careful not to let it or your sanity it’ll squash

This deprivation a necessary need
To flush the Hajj of his hide
This town a spot of hatred’s seed
As sleep’s loss rots my insides

I spent a hundred years that night
On guard; a uniquely quiet time
Thinking through the days next fight
The souls to be cut down in their prime

Praying mine isn’t among the lost
We’d had no casualties thus far
Just clear this horrid town, star-crossed
And go back home to Tal’Afar

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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1 Response to One Hundred Years That Night

  1. Perfectly captured in so few words.
    Them who have never stood watch will never know that feeling of tired alertness.


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