PDF of Poem

Have I Ever Been to War?

by Ryan Hill

Generations have voiced through pen and art, the glorious horrors of war
Stories are told, some without words, of men changed down to their core

Iíve been and seen and felt and feared, but my story is not the same
With a different view of the battlefield, Iím wary of what I claim

I have dented the earth and bent the air inside the enemyís door
But I cannot help but ask myself, Have I ever been to war?

Iíve topped the heights and flung my craft into valleys in the black of night
But the intimate pain and guilt in death remained outside my sights

Iíve squeezed the trigger that ended menís lives but did not witness the gore
So again I have to ask myself, Have I ever been to war?

Iíve seen the ghost of my imminent end
but never the face of a dying friend

Iíve seen the hopeless green smoke rise
but never the suffering it disguised

Iíve heard the whistling rounds drop in,
without a clue of where theyíd land

But Iíve never felt their sting before,
And so I ask, Have I been to war?

I donít carry a load, nor am I lost between the darkness and the light
Iím the same as the man who left to go, but I question if thatís right

To all those who there remain, and to those whoíve gone before
I joined you in that hellish place, but Iím still not sure Iíve been to war.