Cannon Fodder
— a poem by Raymond Thomas

Nineteen guys died twice

          The second time around

          As practiced whores in death

          We saw them go down in red flames

          And thousands died with them

          We know the nineteen names

          And the counted thousands all have names

          The first time around

          The nineteen virgin deaths did not disturb us

          Perhaps they went down one by one

          More likely nameless thousands fell with them,

And perish daily, uncounted

          The walking dead, waiting to die again

          Beyond rescue them or us

          They cannon fodder in a field of fire

          Us the sickly sweet smell of death twice around

          To die first for hate or hurt

          And then again in the rocket’s red glare

          To be meticulously counted

And gloriously mourned

Yeah, nineteen guys died twice.

At least! We saw it only once

Raymond Thomas was born in Guyana. He received his PhD in Chemistry at Texas A&M and now works in industry. He resides in Lockport, NY where he enjoys the four seasons, writes short stories, and poetry.