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A short poem

By A. Burt


How well I remember the tears.

The moisture rolling down the cheeks, blinding the eyes.

I had just shot my first bird and watched it die.

A moment I will never forget. Or I thought I wouldn’t.

I had taken a life for no reason other than my ability to do so.

A life I could never return, a bird that would never again fly freely.

Then 3 years later came Vietnam and I learned.

I learned it’s not birds that can’t fly but men who can’t move.

I learned that they take the very young because their easy to control.

I learned that if you take the holy away from the young, you can’t give it back.

I learned that you will spend a lifetime trying with limited success.

I learned the changes war makes in children.

I learned how senseless wars are and the sacrifices made.

And I learned that I never forgot that first bird I shot or the tears that flowed.

I learned compassion for all living things and to me that is one great feat.


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