Thursday, April 19, 2007

Victory: Give it a Chance

Dear Nancy Pelosi .....

The Sniper

The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.

The mid-day air ran thick with dust; my throat was parched and dry.

With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,

I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear "Stay low."

My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,

The figure stretched across the rubble, several steps away from me.

He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of gray and brown,

That hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.

He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,

But pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.

"About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,

Beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device.

A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,

"You think he's going to set it off along the crowded street?

The sniper gave a weary sigh and said "I wouldn't doubt it,

Unless there's something this old gun and I can do about it."

A thunder clap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered:

While citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.

Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,

The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,

Instead he took a logbook out and quietly he wrote.

"Hey I could put you on TV, that shot was quite a story!"

But he surprised me once again- "I got no wish for glory."

"Are you for real?" I asked in awe, "You don't want fame or credit?"

He looked at me with saddened eyes and said "You just don't get it.

"You see that shot-up length of wall, the one without a door?

Before a mortar hit it, it was a grocery store."

"But don't go thinking that to Bomb a store is all that cruel,

The rubble just across the street -it used to be a school.

The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,"

His head hung low, they never ever thought a car would just explode.

"As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,"

He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.

"Today the fights on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own,"

"I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fights back at home."

"And I won't let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,

Don't want to get a call from school that says my daughter died;

I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,

Nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory."

"So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,

I don't care if I make the news, or if they speak my name."

He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,

"If you're looking for a story, why not give this one a shot."

"Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin:

That most of us are OK and we're coming home again.

And why not tell our folks back home about the good we've done,

How when they see Americans, the kids come at a run."

You tell 'em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,

Without the fear that that tyranny is just a step behind:

Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,

Or ask a soldier if he's proud, I'm sure you'll get a quote."

He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,

Then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added:

"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,

That we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak.

by Michael Marks - a Marine - 2006


Matti said...

Thanks for posting this. It's absolutely right on. I have to say that sometimes I've caught myself looking at local places, imagining what they'd look like if the fight ever really came here. Like 9/11 24/7. The pile of rubble that used to be a Starbucks or a Target. Or a school. A hospital. The bodies of American men, women and children scattered in a church parking lot because of a VBIED. Morbid, maybe, but I wish more people would try it sometime, and take a minute to really appreciate the bigger picture, not just of the war in Iraq, but the war on terror and the global jihad. My dad contributes many of the anti-war attitudes held today to American isolationism...we've got oceans on both sides to protect us. It's some other nation's problem, some other people's problem. Not ours. As long as we stay out of it, we'll be fine. The logic train hasn't reached their stations yet. I hope it hasn't derailed all together. The terrorists have declared war on us. There's no getting out of it. And without our armed forces there, we'd be sipping our mocha frape choca-whatevers to the sounds of "allah akbar" and bombs detonating here.

Sly2017 said...


That is ......
*floundering hopelessly for the right words*

Cassandra said...

I am humbled. Thank you.

Snooper said...

GREAT post Sir!

Keep them coming and don't EVER give up!!

Yes, if we make these sort of statements we are accused of fear mongering. So sad that a hint of reality is so stated to be fear mongering...until it happens. When it does happen, foolish people will say, "Why didn't you do anything to stop it?"

Leftinistra. Morons.

Adam said...

A friend of mine said that Marks isn't a Marine. That link indicates that his dad was a Marine, however, and also has some other pieces of poetry in the same vein.

I think this one is my favourite, though. The last line gives me chills.

Snooper said...

Marc, where ya been?

Matti said...

Hey Marc, are you all right? It's been a little while. I hope everything is okay. :-)