From someone who's been to Afghanistan (2013-2014) and knows what it's like to have people wanting you dead even though they don't even know who you are... it's definitely a touching write. I didn't shoot, nor kill men, but people died while I was there and it's a pill that I was forced to swallow and still feel the effects of every day. A wonderful write, and my favorite part of this poem is your consistent and incessant use of the word "They" until the last two lines, where you remove the focus from those who are in charge to those who have sacrificed their lives. The real heroes.
It is striking, to say the least... though there are a few corrections I'd make:
"They sent to to foreign land" should read "They sent me to a foreign land". Perhaps instead of me, you could say "us", to further elaborate the schism between "they" and "us".
In the line "They notified they're mothers", "they're" should be "their".
(Just a personal suggestion, the line "They know us as numbers" would flow better if you threw a "just" in there, to read: "They know us just as numbers.")
In the line "They tell us its just a dream", "its" should be "it's".
Now, these last two lines are striking
"But we still see the men at night
But we will always hear they're screams."
The only edit I'd make here would be the "they're" should be "their".
All-in-all, a strong and relatable write. It's a horror that cannot be comprehended until it is experienced, and even I feel I didn't experience the nightmare that some people were forced into. I am sorry that you did.
Thank you for your service,
1 year ago
I take my hat off to you for your service and your poetry.