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Gentleman Death

A gentleman is Mr. Death.
We met on rain-soaked battleground
where I perceived the telltale thud
of a grenade in Lao’s jungle’s filth.
I lived through iron splinter rain.

The man of bones spoke through
earth-stained, broken teeth:
“You are a corpsman, much like me;
go on to live; and I pledge
to give you warning first, when
your time comes.”

After many years, when Death returned,
I tried to stall, for he arrived
quite unannounced. I said:

“You promised, sir!” But he replied,
“Old age and pain were my envoys;
by those you should’ve been foretold.”

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
How does this theme appeal to you?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


for you! Just like his Brother-in-Arms, the Devil, he couches his language in terms that lead you to believe, that you have the upper-hand! I really enjoyed this one, it gives off just the right flavor. Not a thing to criticize! ~ Geez.

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Thank you for your thoughtful comment, kind sir. Too often, Death comes unannounced, which probably isn't a bad thing. I appreciate your thoughts on my poem. Jerry

author comment

Oh, Jerry,
You can really hit the nail on the head, sometimes. I cannot truly imagine those Laos jungle days. As we get older and there are more days behind than ahead, Gentleman Death is a bit more visible in our thoughts. Your language was to the point, and the theme was thought-provoking, for certain. Well written, Jerry.
Thank you,

sometimes I hit my thumb instead the nail's head, lol. Seldom wilI I speak or write about my experiences in the military, even to my wife and son. Neither will I glorify war. Thank you for your great comment, dear Lavender.

author comment

I wouldn't go so far as to say death is a gentleman however your poem made an impact on me it sent a chill through your writing as always is enjoyed by me


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no, he is no gentleman, except in my tale, in which he spared my life and promised to give me fair warning when my time ends. Considering my ripe old age of nearly 87, I have to assume that he is bypassing me, or saving me up for a horrendous demise. Thank you for liking my scribbling, dear Lynn; glad you enjoy my work. Jerry

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