The Devil's Quill

Left Behind

Jayanth Vincent

Jayanth Vincent

Sidney Dicker

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Left to dry in the Afghani sun,

Sun-bleached Soviet vehicles lie half-buried,

Their carcasses slowly sinking into the desert sand.

They are from a war that no-one ever liked,

From the war that no-one liked to fight.

 

APCs lie on their sides, sand flowing through their open doors and filling their interiors

-Their days of carrying soldiers, of carrying an empire’s will, are now long gone.

Large battle tanks, T-55s and T-62s, lie submerged in the sand, their turrets jutting out like beacons, signalling time’s rage and unforgiveness, and lie high and dry, tipped on their sides, jutting out like massive beached whales.

-Their days of fighting, of fighting to protect their empire’s kingdom, against a ruthless enemy, an enemy in sheep’s clothing, that everyone supported and no one doubted-even their greatest ally,

the empire’s greatest enemy, who did not realize their treachery until it was too late.

 

Helicopters-gunships and transports, heavy-lift choppers and aerial cranes-lie in various states of decay, locals picking their bones of anything of value like a pack of vultures looking to find the meatiest parts of their prey.

Jet fighters and cargo transports, left behind, sacrificed, so that the empire’s last remaining fuel reserves could be used to fly out their troops on cargo planes bound for home, lie dormant, slowly decaying, still in flight formation, on the runways of long-abandoned airfields.

-Their sacrifice is now forgotten, known only to the aging veterans who were forced to leave them behind, behind to rot and crumble in the unforgiving Afghani sun.

 

Left behind, these vehicles sit, left behind as a warning, a warning to all nations

-that Afghanistan is a country that no-one, no empire, can fully take.

 

Their warnings went unheeded, and, sitting just across from them, lie another graveyard,

A graveyard of American military vehicles from the second Afghanistan War-Humvees, Abrams, Bradleys, Black-Hawks and Pave-Lows-all left behind, as a warning, a warning to nations not recognizing the warnings and mistakes of the past and the nations that end up repeating history.

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