I Stopped || Terry Severhill

I stood quite still
I may have even held my breath
And for the span of that held in gulp of air
I let it go
I let go
I was in a war zone
I was the warrior present
I held more firepower than a platoon or perhaps
a company of soldiers from the Revolutionary
War But in that moment
I was
Simply was
I divorced myself from the war
I stood and looked
Looked as if I were a tourist
The country was beautiful
I removed the sandbagged entrances to fighting positions
I excluded the smell of diesel mixed with the smell of decaying jungle
The sky was as blue as anywhere
The palms were tall, slender, swaying in the light breeze
I spied no one
On my left rice paddies
Someone had left the water buffalo unattended
I thought “Wow, this is a nice country”

The author served in a Marine CAP unit July 1969 to July 1970.

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.


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