poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “soldier”

first day back home

he sat at the table
the salt and pepper
barely out of reach
but he would not speak
chewing the butterfly pork chop

she asked him if it needed
any salt
and he simply stuck
another chunk into his mouth
slowly but briefly shaking
his head

he buttered an ear of corn
using a slice of bread
and picked it up
worked away at it

she knew it needed salt
but he wouldn’t say a word
and she wouldn’t dare
a second time

she wanted to let him know
there was a good movie
airing on the pay-per-view
but thought twice
telling herself she was sure
he wanted to figure things out
all on his own

may two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sunset boulevard

there is no going back
no fixing of things if you will
no apologies for past decisions
or inspiration to instill upon others

that song buried deep inside you
is like the setting sun in the rearview mirror
seemingly a faraway memory
but closer than it appears
full of deceit and trickery
and almost smothering until suddenly
explodes with a brightness never before witnessed
turning everything black as a ghost

it is a lonely road you chose
the one marched on by millions of men
sent off on their own accord
to conquer their own fears
giving meaning to their newfound lives

july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


promises of glory
took you away from me
leaving me helpless
and grasping for understanding
exactly what went wrong

i sit in my chair and recall the days
watching you kill mercilessly
on the television screen
watching your back
aiding and abetting your safety
from the mindless enemy

those games now collect dust
as i wander through the house
murmuring to myself
for my stupidity

november two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a promise enlisted

i gave you my promise
and you ran with it
all the way across the country
where you boarded a ship
destination i don’t know

you tried saving the planet
with my promise
attached to you at all times
like it was part of the dog tags
hanging from your neck

by the time they shipped you
back to the states
the promise had expired
lost to the heavens
awaiting for me there

september two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fooled again

drums bang slowly into the night
keeping time with toy soldiers
marching through the streets
enforcing a curfew imposed
by the new boss promising
freedoms this world has yet to know

july two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

toy soldier

how old can you be before understanding
who you are? is there an hour if missed
makes it undefined? or does the inner self
turn back time and take you to a place
where you just started to breathe?

what event is truly more life-changing
than whatever happens today?
and what happens if someone today
stands in your way?
do you just mow them down?

may two thousand seven
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Lost Soldier

The water in his hands
was like a crystal ball,
replaying the recent
‘hand-to-hand’ past
with absolute clarity.

As he knelt, he dipped
his bloodied hands
into the stream,
lifting the reddish,
murky drink to his lips,
the images disintegrating
into his mouth.

The river rock underneath
his knees felt comforting
as he continued to dip
his cupped hands
into the creek
and up to his face,
the motion reminding him
of the ferris wheel
at the county fair.

may two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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