Life was not always like this for me, you know.
There was a time – oh there was a time!
I marched with the best of them!
I flew those silver birds through hell
and brought them back every time.
Life was not always like this.
Sometimes I remember things.
Like the time I found those pups
only a couple weeks old
suckling their dead mother
at the bottom of a foxhole.
I cried as I drowned those pups.
I wanted to be back on that Indiana farm
where I cold raise those warm, wiggly buggers
and make coon dogs of them!
God, how I wanted that!
I remember shooting the enemy
and seeing around his neck
a gold locket.
Then having to get up and fire again
to keep that piece of real estate
on our side of the front.
I remember the men, good, bad, brave, weak,
who shared that life and made it special.
Ah, we had us some times!
What’s that, you say?
What am I doing here?
I don’t’ know.
Sometimes, I think I’m trying to forget.
But mostly, I guess, I’m trying to remember
that time when life itself was a battle.
I wait for those spaces when the whiskey fog lifts
and the reality of a civilized world closes in.
Those minutes when I seem once again
to be them aster of my fate.
When the lives of my men and the fate of a world
rested on the tip of a carbine.
Or when these red eyes saw the world
from the blue skies.
when life meant something.
No, life was not always like this.