Roses on a Battlefield 

The sky was a deep dark grey

Lightning cracked and thunder rolled for ever

The ground was muddy and impossible to walk on

Thanks to the stinging rain.

The air was heavy and thick

The only smells were gunpowder and blood

Concrete bunkers smelled like complete death

And each squad mate smelt worse and worse

I’d pass a shiny artillery shell some days and see a huge change in myself

Being out here so long my body  has gotten weaker and I’ve forgotten the taste of real food

Oh how I longed for a hot plate of my wife’s delicious meatloaf and potatoes

Even that slop at the mess hall would have satisfied my angry stomach right about now

My hands were constantly wrapped around a gun or knife

The feel of cold metal was one thing that actually comforted me

Pulling the trigger became second nature

Realizing that I’d pulled a trigger hundreds of times and was still living made me say a small silent prayer for the soldier that I killed.

Huge artillery guns sounded off every couple of minutes

Even after hearing them for months they still rattled my bones when they fired

Exploding sounds would hit the ground seconds after

And each time it did I wondered if it killed a man or just scared him half to death like it did to me… It was pure hell.

But one morning when the sun was high in the sky

My platoon an I were headed to an advanced position

While jogging I looked down and stopped in my tracks

My mind was in amazement at what my eyes were seeing

My combat boots were completely surrounded by dark red beautiful roses

My eyes filled with tears and my heart dropped to my stomach

It was then that I realized that no matter how much death, destruction, hatred, and just plain old pure ugliness that man can create.

The world is still… and will always… be a beautiful place!
  

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