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ITALY-1943

What brings me to this place right now Where the land is never still? Once olive trees thrived on the slopes

Or were terraced on the hill.

Where the trees once stood, only snags remain

And the earths all gouged and torn,

Where deaths so close on every hand,

We strive to live till morn.

Among this carnage sights appear

Unexpected from time to time,

Happiness comes in dubious ways,

Yet I claim them all as mine.

When a songbird alights on an olive limb

And sings it song to me,

It's really hard to comprehend

But I know it's heart is free.

Duty calls and must be done

And I must stay for another day,

Facing all the problems that remain

While he is free to fly away.

The days are lingering into years

And dreams of a future almost gone,

For what's the use of dreaming now

When a dreams fulfillment may never come?

Oris M. Gentry

9-11-84