Survival Instincts

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"