Thursday, April 21, 2005
Convoy, a Poem
At the start it’s paper
Everything in the army
Lives somewhere as paper.
So all the heavy moving parts
Start with a packet and a plan.
A tip-off from the CO to the
the maintenance man, like
pageant judge, checks in mind’s eye
the faces of men and women, are they
as ready as the trucks he knows so well.
This one steady at the wheel,
That one an aggressive gun, another
Best as backseat, ready to recover
Or render buddy aid as CLS
If we end up in the s***.
Vehicle stats, known quantities
The Level 1, 2, 3 up armor
Gun mounts, troop carry load
Maintenance history, will this baby
Throw a belt or pop a hose.
Packet all complete, it’s good
The plan is done, all red tape now
That tape’s in place, let’s go
One more wakeup and the brief
Then dust on dust we blow.
Apprehension sits atop
The gunmount, convoy moves
Breathing towards the red line
Go juice flowing in your veins
We lock and load and out.
On the labeled route
Racing past adobe villages
More roadside stands than homes
Like some Southwest U.S.
Reservation, alien, askance.
Sometime children on the road
Don’t stop to talk to natives, boy
And watch for road kill ‘cause
Road kill, like trash and junk
May be the last thing you see.
Smiles and saggy uniforms
Of the Friendlies on the way
Don’t stop don’t wave in
Crazy zig zag fly by Iraqi
Army checkpoints bye.
Last miles now, last lap
To FOB, keep eyes in motion
Left, right, up and under, anywhere
Comes the RPG or small arms fire
Anything an IED.
Stretch but do not break
The rubber band of interval
Hurry up catch up now slow down
No bunch ups, double ups, slow goes
Keep a safe blast distance.
Gate again and home
Home or not, inside the berm
Breathe deep the clearing barrels, boys
Gauntlet run, today’s mission done
Climb down, dismount, unload.
Do the drill, keep breathing
Gun in barrel, drop the magazine
Lock the bolt, observe, let ride forward
Pull the trigger to hollow click man
Charge again and place on safe.
Autopilot to the motor yard
Jumbled thoughts of what is home
Here, there, anywhere you get to rest
Day is done, all stories for the joes
And janes, wind down, we’re done.
What was it they told us
During hours and hours of training
For the big event, it’s assymetrical
Pop goes bang, all threat and power out
Then lull, and quiet like death.
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