by Cook Barela
1999 ©

In honor of the pain we've shared together,
dedicated to those who have tasted the scent of her indiscretion 

I have slept and ate with her at my side 
dreamed of the shadow of darkness as my bride 
I've known the scent of her indiscretion 
sought her bed and darkened mansion

I've often searched for her all night 
to sing and dance in the twilight 
I found her presence in the shadows of war 
where friendship, kindness and love does grow 

I knew her cousins: pain, agony, suffering and shame
When she came by, I called her name 
She learned fear from my lips that night 
trembled when I kissed and held her tight 
I laughed at her pale nakedness and
unveiled the power of her weak caress 

She wept like a widow without a song 
the night I stripped her of dignity 
seized her shadow and wickedness 
and found delight in the sour taste 
From the milk of her hollowed breasts
then I slept within her grave 
to give my soul the rest it craved

She cried out in pain that night 
as demons from Hell began their flight 
They feared the hands of souls I set free 
the day death became a part of me

She feared and trembled and ran away 
the day the dogs of war came out to play 
The day God turned into night 
when gun barrels melted at his sight 
The horrors of war crawled out Hell's door
her warriors would live no more 

I fed her that day with blood-soaked hands 
touched and caressed that foreign land 
Purchased the black mantle that gave her fame 
when demons on little green tracers called my name 
but, I laughed at them as they went by 
anger and hatred at my side 

Plants and animals, spirits and souls 
nothing was sacred, nothing was spared 
I took their lives with vengeance all mine 
and laughed with God for being so kind 

On their dogtags I carved my name
the moon with dark clouds covered the shame 
This world of Hell had become my own when
the smell of hot blood mingled with my soul 
Angels wept and would sing no more 
when death was forced to endure my wrong 
I sat silent, singing my song 

She left hurriedly, in pain and misery 
when I leaned over and whispered in her ear 
"O death, where is your sting and victory?"

Then, she sent her dark angels to play with my mind 
but I knew them as well, and wasn't so kind 
As they spoke, I slit their throats 
wrapped their thorns in the shadows of a moonless night 
when she stepped on them she cried at the sight 

Now, she dares not come to me
silent, secret or on her knees 
Fears next time I will not let her go
and death on earth will be no more 

I left her there, in the jungles of Nam 
in the tall trees by the sea 
in rice paddies full of blood
in hooches absent of love

*     *     *
The author: R.M. Cook Barela, served in Vietnam 1967–1968, as a machine gunner with 1st platoon, India Company 3/7, 1st Marine Division. Today he is a Christian pastor residing in Riverside, CA.

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The Scent of Her Indiscretion
"We came to maturity early,
because our lives depended on it."