Tuesday, 20 September 2011


In the decade-old war, there is still more. An ambush in the night,
a firefight in the Afghan hills,
an area not to be entered until cleared.
Marines call it a kill zone.

How can any of us avoid thinking of danger here
is a mystery.
In spite of all the risks
how the Corporal's gunfire provided the cover for the escape.

"I did what I did," he says.

Everyone in the village was trapped.
So, he went in to save them, 37 men and women,
Aghans and soldiers.
The red-haired Kentucky man, a grown-up boy really,
Dakota Meyer wanted to follow orders
but not when it came to this.
Against orders, he went back
again and again,
saved all but four of the soldiers, mourning their loss even now, as if
his compassion is all he has left to give.

On the day of the ambush the kill zone was too dangeous to enter
but he went there anyway to save his friends.
He rode into the gunfire of the 50 insurgents, into the town with all its lights on.

"You do not think about it until you look back," he says.

The hazel-eyed man doing what he believes we all wanted him to do,
save everyone left behind
in the only way he knew how, and now,
the baby-blue ribbon draped around his neck, the dark gold star
hanging on the chest of the young soldier come this far. home again,

home again and safe.

© Charlene Langfur

US Marine Dakota Meyer awarded Medal of Honor
Charlene is an organic gardener and a graduate of the S.U. graduate writing program.