SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

The Ghosts of the Battlefield

by David Tanis

I’ve often thought of the battle,
Of the men who were slain in this field.
Now grasses grazed on by cattle,
Spring forth from the blood that’s congealed.

Some of these souls went to Heaven,
But more of them went straight to Hell.
Most never left from this meadow.
They lingered in place where they fell.

Corpses with limbs all akimbo
Are what’s left of the soldiers of death.
Their souls still remain in that limbo.
From the moment they breathed their last breath.

Lives of those fallen, forgotten
As the years go cascading by.
Out of the carnage, now rotten,
A seed starts its trek to the sky.

The seedling, a tree or a flower,
Brings life where once there was none.
It’s nature’s eternal raw power
Proves to us life’s never done.

The ghosts of the dead ever haunt us,
Sad reminders of those that were slain.
The specters of war ever taunt us,
Reminiscent of all of our pain.

As the sadness and memories dim
The tree and the flower matures.
War’s horror becomes a mere whim,
Man’s destiny is that which endures.