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Stolen Youth

by Rich Raitano, HHC 4/3 Medic

Our youth was tested
all those many years ago
when the boys we were
faced the mortality
of the men we were to be.

In the chaos that lurked
just beyond the wire,
the mayhem of bitter tribulation
waited in ambush,
calling for us by name ...
beckoning for our very souls.

Death's Black Angel
would pass in a rush of bitterness,
his cold icy fingers reaching for the
warmth of life itself.
Our youthful spirits forever wounded
by the vulgar stench of war.

Time has become entangled
in the oppressive barbed wire silence.
Stilled by the need for penance,
it tortures the heart and spirit ...
wanting only the peaceful refuge
of holy absolution.

Let our sorrows and tears
fall upon their granite names,
those many faces that we knew.
Friends made ...friends lost.
God shed His grace on thee.

This was our stolen youth
those many years ago.
when the men we were
walked with death and insanity
on the fine line of madness.

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