You Only Had To Tell Me Turn Around
Author: Shiloh


You stepped down from the pedestal I'd placed beneath your feet,
I'd built it with my naive, trusting heart.
My love was strong enough, I thought, to weather any storm,
But the winds of life soon tore my world apart.

Well, I took my shattered pride and I kept it all inside,
And I went as far away as I could go.
Traveled half-way 'round the world,- then half the other way,
Looking for the boy I used to know.

I barely can recall the places where I've gone,
I really didn't care too much back then;
Just a way to kill the days and long nights of memories,
And the constant thoughts of all that might have been.

In Berlin I found the clubs, where the bars were open late,
And the darkness deep inside them hid my pain.
And while I fought my anger, and questioned why things are,
I prayed that somehow, Time would make me sane.

But the drinking didn't help,- it only slowed the hurt,
So I became a Volunteer to go to war.
I didn't know back then, what I would one day come to know,
Combat's just another kind of whore.

Not old enough to vote, but they handed me a gun,
And I did the things that none my age should do.
I wasn't Serving Country, nor was I Being Brave,
Simply living from a different point of view.

Oh I loved it over there, where I was angry,- didn't care
If I lived another day, or if I died.
In those days and nights of fear, I had no time to shed a tear,
And I lost the sounds of memories inside.

Yes, I played their foolish games, too much to their delight,
And I learned the truth of Life and Death and Love.
As comrades earned their coffins, I learned to close my heart,
And questioned Presidents, and Guidance From Above.

I served my time in hell, and remember it too well;
I've learned to sleep around the edges of the dreams
Where I'm walking point again, then I'm bagging up the men
Who shared with me their final, dying screams.

I left that life behind, though it stayed within my mind,
When I finally walked familiar streets of home.
In the factory all day long, then back to school at night,
But still my mind did little else but roam.

Memories of a past that I would always think about
Still remained a part of my routine.
Life Member - VFW - and the bar a second home,
In my dreams I still was wearing Army green.

And I cursed the fates that took me far away from one I loved,
And my actions only finalized the break
That led her to take her road, and me to wander mine,
Leaving me with just my memories and this ache.

Oh I thought that I was gallant, brave and stalwart, on a quest...
To show her and the world that I was strong.
Took me more than just a few years to learn I was a fool,
And that decisions made in haste are often wrong.

But that was then, and this is now, and time turns back for none.
The doors through which you walk forever close.
A choice, once you have made it, can never be undone,
Life's oft a game of chance - you win, you lose.

"...I can feel it still, though it's been more than forty years;
the hurt and held-back tears and bleeding dreams
of a boy too young to hear the things you felt you had to say...
- I was much too young to be that old back then."


Comments on this poem/writing:

anonymous ( -- Saturday, December 22 2007, 05:40 am

Great poem

We must be close to the same age? 59, because I can relate to some of this. Baumhoder, Germany, in greens,the bars, also Nam, and a lost love. Being a volunteer and really seen the world with a weapon in my hand and a grenade in my chest pocket, yet too young to vote. Thanks Shiloh for your poem.
shiloh ( -- Sunday, December 23 2007, 10:44 am

you're welcome...

Vietnam? Welcome home, Brother. 11B, 9th Inf, 1966-67 - peace...
Bipedalguy ( -- Tuesday, December 25 2007, 04:08 pm

Super Great Poem

This is right up there among your best. I really liked it.
Merry Christmas ! !
shiloh ( -- Thursday, December 27 2007, 05:09 am

thank you...

i appreciate your comments, and when someone says they like something i do, then it helps reinforce my wanting to write. thanks. peace...
jmarshall ( -- Tuesday, September 1 2015, 03:11 am

Another Looking Glass

Leaving no stone unturned you have touched many nerves once more, and at times had some of us by your side again. Thanks for sharing this. I hope its release is comforting to you in some way.
Name:                                           Remember Me

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