The Casualty of War.

The vets. The men and women who put their bodies through grueling effort, and their minds to an unspeakable task. The reality: people fight. They sometimes kill. They do this, to preserve rights, and borders, and land, and beliefs about freedom.


And, good health, and deep sleep to all those who served. Thank you.

“The Casualty of War”

*[originally posted on February 3, 2015]

This piece is a tribute, to all those who have served in unendurable conditions for reasons known only to God. It was inspired by a radiant young man whom I never knew, loved by so many known to me.


Beginning his day

with a chemical drill

teaching the innocents

to breathe deeply

through activated charcoal


Leading his charges

around dusty corners

through desolation

setting their weapons

in the proper position

to kill


Dropping straight down

in the dead dark

his wake

the rhythmic ripple

of a canvas chute




Crawling on elbows

the thrust

of his loins

propelling, he


the mark.



Home for reprieve

and domestic beer

falling backwards

into the cushion

of a chlorinated pool


Standing alone

in muscle bound


somebody’s baby

all the girls’ crush

every man’s



Lying awake

one last endless night

bathed in death

Making his final


with just one more

tiny pill.




(recently modified title: “Just One More.”)

© Ruth Ann Scanzillo


all rights reserved. Dress left.

2 thoughts on “The Casualty of War.

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