by GySgt Jay Lindsey
on Peleliu 15-29 Sept. 1944

Gunner stands; no smile
Gun picked up, I'm set to move
Walk starts. Rifle shot
Gunner down with bloody gut
Calls for aid. My turn is next.

Second shot is mine
Blow to chest; "Is this my time?" 
Weak hands drop the gun
Breathing hard, I meet the sand
Hole is small but what's unseen? 

Bent, our corpsmen come
Morphine shot calms pain and fear
Stretchered, gunner leaves
He's lost to all, dies at sea
God's flip of coin lets me live.

*     *     *

Four senryu written by Jay:

Spray comes over ramp, 
exhaust blows in from the stern, 
fear . . . plus . . . misery.

Shots against the bow, 
sailor reaching for the latch 
opening to hell.

Can't get off the beach, 
mortars crumple men and boat, 
sand blots up the blood.

Tides are merciful: 
ebbing, taking signs of death 
leaving only lumps.

*     *       
Author: Jay Lindsey enlisted 1942, discharged 1945.
Enlisted 1948, retired 1966.  RIP: 29 Feb 2016

>>>  Poetry Page
>>>  Memoir Page
Memoir by Jay Lindsey:
Still Under the Gun—Korea 1954
Tanka — A Japanese verse form in five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven.
Haiku — A lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Senryu is haiku's earthier kin.