Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poem : Hero

Vietnam was a bitch
That war slipped home in the spirits of our fathers
Our brothers
Our uncles
Stepping off that plane your shadow seemed to be a little darker
For darkness was consuming your shadow turning it a different shade of black
Your smile had all but faded
Your eyes constantly combing the tree tops afraid a shot would ring out
Yet we kept loving you unconditionally
Even when the madness danced in your eyes
Long wooded walks with you were almost an impossible feat
For even as a child I could see the shadows call out to you
You did what you had to do
At least this is what you told yourself to make it seem right
But there’s nothing right about war
Then came the drinking
Trying to wash it all away
Drown out the voices you heard in the night
Stop the snakes from coming out of the walls of our home
A home that was supposed to protect you, could protect you no longer
For the beast at the bottom of the bottle only fueled the nightmares
Then came the outburst of tears at dinner
If it tasted too much like rations
But hell, beans were all you could afford after the war
The war that never stopped in your thinking
Like a road without any end and no stop sign in sight
Like a sea without land the flashbacks kept coming
Relentless in the depths of your mind
Until the flag was folded into the triangle of honor
Given to our family to sooth the teardrops of sadness
One more hero gone from the fight

Published at Poetic Medicine 10-18-2011

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