A flippant response to a serious comment;
A wisecrack at bullets which miss by a hair.
A shrug, a half smile, at disaster averted;
A quip at a rescue with seconds to spare.
An argument halting descent into darkness;
High tension relieved with an intricate tale.
Delight at explosions; at noise, light and chaos;
Dismissal of doubts that a mission might fail.
A token resistance to volunteer status;
Objections acknowledged, waved off with a smirk.
Uncertainty masked by an air of bravado
And counterfeit confidence; schemes always work.
An insult to spark off a fiery reaction;
An accent deliberately mangled, for fun.
Emotions pent up, like a valve under pressure,
Released in the outrage; a comrade's work done.
A hand on a shoulder; real food on the table:
A clandestine poker game breaking routine.
A cadged cigarette or shared news from a loved one:
Rare moments which brighten; long hours in between.
Not strategies planned, just instinctive reactions,
Well-honed in dire straits to recharge and revive
Through unspeakable horrors, unthinkable dangers;
Increasing the odds that they might just survive.
a/n: first line inspired by an exchange between Hogan and Newkirk in "Information Please"