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THE LEAD SCOUT

It's a lonely place to be up front
with all before you quite unknown,
with bamboo spikes ripping your face
and nerves stretched tight in soft footfalls;
no margin for error or careless mistake
the men behind you trusting your skill.

Your trigger finger white, anticipating
the slightest sound out of place,
as you deeply search the shadowed deeps
and tangled places of your wanderings,
ignoring the suckling of leeches on your juices.

Each leaf and branch and stone upturned
you see and weigh within your mind,
as you duck and twist and turn
through the soaking, damp green halls,
and on your face the awful strain.

It's a lonely place to be up there
waiting for the traps to spring,
sweating the musk of honest fear
with the neck hairs standing erect -
at the fleeting black figures,
almost invisible at the edge of your eyes.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR

 

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