When Trang Sup Burned

What is worse than the impotent rage

When one is trapped, unable to engage

The enemy when he slips in to kill?


You can only watch with furious eyes

As mortars explode and the agonized cries

Of the victims pierce your soul with a chill


That freezes memories that will never melt,

And bares a nerve that still is felt

In those unguarded moments when you're still.


Then the memories start along with the pain

As the smoke and the fire rekindle your brain

Making you live it once more against your will.


The children scream and the old folks weep

And you close your eyes trying to keep

Out the sights that bore in like a drill.


True anguish comes when the enemy has gone,

You're helping survivors, all bloodied and torn…

And, for you, war has forever lost its thrill.


   ©2/14/2004 Thurman P. Woodfork


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Poetry and Stories of Warfare and Wisdom