by Jim Wilson
He moves along the jungle trail like a ghost in olive green,
With shallow breath, measured gait and a well oiled M-16.
His fragile human senses are set on hyper-keen,
as instincts from ten thousand years, fix on foes unseen.
The rhythm of his killer’s heart slows down to set the pace,
and cold defiant confidence is set upon his face.
He’s played this game a hundred times, and loves it more each day.
A normal man would shy away, but it’s the “rush” he loves they say.
His ‘slack Man” is his link to life, and no one knows him better.
He’s the one who’ll make damn sure his mother gets his letter.
This pair of young grim reapers, bonded by their task,
prepare to share the taste of death from a common soldier’s flask.
Their eyes meet once and their minds are one as they venture down the trail,
and now the one called “point” must move on silent sail.
Each step is filled with danger, for the one who walks up front,
his reward is just the knowing, he’s protecting brother grunts.
A sight, a sound, a smell, betray the foe ahead,
or fortune, turn her back on you and you’re the one who’s dead.
A game of life or death indeed, no heroes need apply,
you roll the dice and take a life or you roll the dice and die.
If he should lose his life today, comrades feel no sorrow,
he chose to play this deadly game, and surrender his tomorrow.
They’ll send him home, he lost today, and no longer will he hunger,
to send another soul to hell for his rucksack full of plunder.
101st Airborne Division