I saw him there standing in line
Camouflaged, uniform pressed.
He stood with quiet confidence
and patience like the rest.
I watched him, as he didn’t know
I stood in the corner quiet.
Thinking young men like him,
fighting in the night.
I tried to envision his young face,
brown with all the sand.
Covered from the desert hills
holding a gun in his hand.
There I stood, even watching more
as he responded to the clerk
Then I thought of soldiers like him
digging holes for beds at work.
I stood there in reverence,
although he did not see.
Trying to understand the core
who volunteers for me.
I watched and on his face I saw
many who stood there too.
It wasn’t just one soldier in the boots
but many who fit his shoes.
I lowered my head and felt the moment
of the ones who already died.
The children, the loved one, left behind,
buried in pillows to cry.
He turned, a stranger all the while
and tipped his hat to go.
I prayed a quiet prayer and looked
up, smiled and said hello.
Leaving through the open doors
I was left with only my thoughts.
There is a force out there in our youth
a force that has fiercely fought
It is made up of the young and strong at heart
and trained to combat the wars.
The American soldier, with iron hands
and a kind heart that keeps no scores.
Copyright: CMM 2000