CHOSIN

By John Kent, E/2/1 1st Marine Division, Korea

 

How deep the cold takes us down
into the searing frost of Hell;
where mountain snows,
unyielding winds, strip our flesh,
bare our bones.

The trembling of uncertain hearts,
scream out to echoes not impressed,
as swirling mists of laughing death,
reach out their fingers to compress.

How white the withered skin exposed,
turns into black and brittle flesh
and limbs cast out from conscious thought
still stagger on the arctic frost.

Inmobile does the breath extend
as crystal on the mountain wind,
and eyes now fixed in layers of ice,
see nothing through the dawning light.

This road that leads down to the sea,
twists and turns at every bend
and Chosin's ice that molds like steel,
rains the fire that seeks our end.

The trucks cry out a dirge refrain,
their brittle gears roll on in pain,
upon their beds, the silent dead,
in grateful and serene repose.

Still the mind resists the call,
to lie and die in final pose,
as blood in stillness warms the soul,
and renders nil the will to rise.

The battle carries through the night,
give witness to the dead betrayed,
when frozen weapons fail to fire,
their metal stressed by winter's might.

Still we fight to reach Hungnam,
in solemn oath and brotherhood,
as every able-bodied man
will bring our dead and wounded home.

Uphold traditions earned in blood,
break through the hordes that press us in,
depress their numbers to the place,
where waves of dead deny their quest.

And on to the sea....

 

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