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Monday, February 15, 2010


by Ray Brown

Just 19, I was ferried through the desert
in a copter, where we worried that the eternal sands
of this enemy’s land would choke the intakes.

I had prepared for this,
sharpened my shooting eye,
learned to clean, assemble and disassemble,
mastered the correct hold
to choke the air intake of the enemy, to bring death.

Honed my physique,
fine tuned my body to pain,
practiced war games on the video screens,
bonded with these comrades
with whom I would shortly alight.

Now as we step onto the battle field
I am taken aback by the immediacy
of the enemy’s onslaught.
I had worried about how it would feel
the first time -

But found there was no time to feel – or think.
Instinct and reflex governed.

I simply killed for you.

Ray Brown lives in Frenchtown, NJ. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey. His poetry has appeared in the 13th Annual Poetry Ink Chapbook, Moonstone Publishing, Philadelphia; The Star-Ledger of Newark; NJ Lawyer Magazine; and previously in The New Verse News. He received a NJ Poetry Society 2009 Recognition Award, and will be published in upcoming volumes of the Edison Literary Review, the Big Hammer, FreeXpresSion, and the River Poets Journal.