The Distant Yell

The Distant Yell

A Poem by Shane Houston

A poem about a soldier from World War One and his journey back to the one place he misses most.


The Distant Yell

Sounds of a faraway yell echo through the valley.
I am running towards the sounds that I haven’t heard in years.
I haven’t heard the laughter, I haven’t heard the sighs.
My body is weary and feels fragile to the touch.
It is mid-afternoon and my stride shall not be broken.
I am running towards the village that I left to go defend.
On my back is my rifle of which I relied.
Clinging and clanging against my chest are the dog-tags I earned.
I have mud stains from the bottom of my boot to the top of my helmet.
I am a soldier and I will never smile again.
I keep on running. My legs will not stop.
I feel the burn crawling up my legs. I shake it off and keep moving.
I hear the hymnals being sung.
I make it past the church, the lights still on from the evening sermon.
I run past the creek that I used to play in.
Sounds of a faraway yell echo through the valley.
Sounds like a mother calling for her son.
It sounds like she’s been crying for four long years.
I keep on running.
The rain begins to pelt my face.
Stinging like the wounds that I have suffered.
 My arms have scars that I don’t remember.
I hear a far-off yell.
It reminds me of the coronet.
Sounding and waking us up for another round of Hell.
I push on. It’s not much further.
I can remember the voice of my stern father.
Stand straighter. Heels together, head forward.
A long breath out, over just one more hill.
I hear a voice calling.
Sounds like a mother who has lost her son.
She has been crying.
Then... I collapse upon the road in front of a long lane.
I am home. 

© 2014 Shane Houston

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Added on July 9, 2014
Last Updated on July 9, 2014
Tags: war, love, running, time, yell, crying


Shane Houston
Shane Houston

Far Away, PA

I am just a simple man who enjoys writing to make others feel all the different emotions. Except maybe for anger, I don't really write anything too angry. But that does not diminish my writing capabil.. more..