Kerry “Doc” Pardue


Thirty-five years is a long time
To remember your face
But you are there to remind me
About the price of war

In the heat of battle
With bullets and blood
Sounds that are deafening
Explosions causing metal ripping into skin

I am treating a wounded soldier
Trying to save his life;
My fingers and mind are busy
Rushing to stop the flow

You pop up out of your hole
Three feet from me
Our eyes meet – we are both surprised
Frozen in Time

It is by instinct alone
That I respond
I fire once
Bullet strikes its intended target

You stop in mid-moment
And stare deep into my eyes
With a look of total surprise
As if to say I can’t believe you shot me

You move in slow motion
Falling to your knees
No sound from your lips
Just a flow of blood

You are just a boy around age 15
Playing war for real
I guess you found out that
Playing war has a heavy cost

You are the age of my own brothers
Who have no knowledge of what war is
They are still playing baseball, attending school
Chasing after girls

I just wish
That you too
Didn’t have to learn
What happens in the heat of battle

I just wish neither of us knew about the realities of war
I would have rather of taught you about baseball
Watch you chase after girls
See you grow into a man