Soldier: A poem by Deepa Gopal

The air rancid, smoky and scathing
Hills bellowing, mud floating, eyes burning
To the acrid acids of burning tanks and ‘broken wares’
Breath choking to the fury of both sides
Bodies muddled in mud, bleeding wet bond of blood
Facing death at each step, explosions devouring the valley
Where we tread hushed through barricades and trenches-
Like slopes of the valley at some boys’ road trip on a heyday-
The town stands flaming, distant shells bombarding
The land murky and scarred, battered to dust
The soldiers walk stealthily cold fear possessed
It’s a distant call, remote from our legions
Prominent men make agendas for conquering regions
In well-lit breezy rooms over a glass of champagne
While life and will of the common man is overstepped
No choices offered, martyrs made and sidestepped
For personal glory and amassing a fortune for conglomerates.