Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Distant Warrior

Ed Coet

I get this wondrous chill as night falls
in mountains or desert sand
and I find myself dreaming about
home, my fondest memory
from this faraway land.

I miss the special lady who 
stole my heart, my thoughts
and all there is of me;
and I deeply cherish 
our final moments together.

I think about the children 
I left behind, how I miss them 
and pray they’re  fine -
and it’s hard Lord,
it’s so very hard.

It’s times like this that I wonder
why I volunteered and I
get this knot in my stomach -
then I cringe and find myself 
trying to hold back tears.

Soon the battle will begin
when I’ll hear my own heartbeat
through the creepy sounds 
amidst treacherous mountainsides or
drifting sands in whirling winds.

It’s  time spent in worry,
fear, and some regret
as I encounter my fate
in the war so near
and I must admit, I’m scared.

This stench of war, 
the sight of it all,
it’s that awful image
of how I imagined hell
after Lucifer’s fall.

I wonder to myself,
“Does it have to be
that generations of people 
can’t seem to agree 
to the simple concept of peace?”

Soldiers don’t start wars
but they surely fight them,
making all manner of sacrifice
and I doubt that even once
did a soldier ever like them.

Then I think of  “Old Glory”
and I’m filled with pride.
It’s a warm patriotic feeling
which overcomes me
from deep down inside.

I’m confused, sacred
and battle weary.
I worry about those I love
as I cling to my faith  
and pray to God above.

I’m a distant warrior,
an American fighting man;
not an aspiring hero,
but just a simple soldier 
trying to do the best that I can.

Dedicated to Special Forces SSG Mack Clarke and other American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.


Ed Coet is a retired US Army officer and professional educator. He is a widely published freelance writer and poet. Ed has had numerous articles published on a variety of topics. Ed’s short stories, David’s Angel, Big Bertha, and Simon and Papa John were published in the popular Ezine Bewildering Stories and in Author’s Big Bertha was also published in Scribal Tales magazine. Ed Coet’s poems have been published in Purple Dream Ezine, Solder Works magazine, Children, Churches & Daddies magazine, Scars publication,  Steller Showcase Journal, Both Sides Now Journal, Because We Write magazine, Lost Beat Poetry Journal, Cynic magazine, Fullosia Press, Blue Fog Poetry Journal, Poetic Diversity magazine, Author’s Den Ezine, The Huffington Post, Raven Publishing, Inc., Muscadine Lines, A Southern Journal, Namaste Fiji – The International Anthology of Poetry, The “Breaking Silences” Book Collection, and the 2007 Scars  Poetry Collection Book  - We The Poets, which includes Ed Coet’s award wining poem - Comfort. Visit with Ed Coet at “The Coet Blog at

© Ed Coet

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2008