Colombo, Peace and Conflict, Poetry

The Fear of Peace

He heard that peace will be here soon

He lay in six inch deep muddy water
watching the enemy in the horizon
His eyes watered and mind wandered
who was the real enemy anyway
The barrel of his gun no longer felt cold
there was comfort and strength
Death was his constant companion
blood and limbs of friends and foes
the only scenery that he knew

He knew not of dry socks and shoes
but of them soggy in boots with holes
He knew not of the warmth of a woman
but of humid days and sweaty bodies
He knew not of the cool breeze of a paddy field
but of gun shots froman arid dessert

He knew not what this peace was

He dreaded the silence that would allow
the demons within to shout louder
He dreaded the loving arms that would embrace
the man that he no longer was
He dreaded the cold emptiness that would follow
when the gun by his side no longer kept him warm and safe

He knew not what this peace was
He feared the peace that would rob his life

First published in I Can Fly.