Somewhere Under The Night Sky

Poetry by SGT Michael John Lemke, USA (Retired)

Every OIF soldier knows the starlight of an Iraqi sky, the timelessness of the desert, and the endless tension of a night patrol to nowhere doing nothing. This is for you, who are NOT forgotten, but prayed for to come home safe:

Star-scaped sky like screensaver monitor on my desk back in the world, I hold the SAW tight in turret ring,

A world I left now not understood, back home where all was good even the bad times with her if I just could,

This iron horse, this war-pony of mine, “Annie” my little orphan, like my platoon abandoned in Baghdad,

Her loud wheels marking my nausea with their steady whirring pace, driving in a mobile oven,

This sunburned leather face desert wind drying silent tears wind in kevlar rushing in my ears, the sand’s sting,

I hate this land and its people who don’t want me here, I hate them back home for not being clear,

Just gotta get out of this mofo alive, see my kid, keep my five, get out no doubt, this crazy place,

I wonder why him, them, not me, all these miles with NVGs, wondering when it’s my turn or not, damn it’s hot,

What kind of place is 100 plus at 0300, man people don’t even have a clue how freakin’ easy they live,

Nothin’ better to do but talk to God whoever, whatever He is, I ain’t got nobody I can depend on but I give,

They say there ain’t no atheists in a foxhole, which I could sit in a hole, then I’d have a shot,

I could just chill and wait for that SOB to come to me, squeeze one off and see him do the dance,

Instead of this BS waiting to get hit by some coward bastard thinking he’s all the sh*t, 37-virgin romance,

If I get out of here it’s on, no more crap, man life is more expensive than a wife, but it’s cheap here,

I’ll have load plan, another mode man, and it won’t be this dumb stuff and all that garrison fuss,

Sometimes I just wish I blew up in a big one, and my bleeding soul just shot into the stars up there,

I guess it would be one helluva way to get my ass out, way out, one way out, without a care…

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