Friday, November 21, 2014

Uncomfortable Smile

I see the young men and women

Coming back from the war

They all have that uncomfortable smile

My uncle had it

Korea gave him his

The war somehow froze his face

Gave his eyes a sometimes lost stare

An old friend of mine took a bayonet in the stomach

He was also shot in the back

Vietnam froze his face, as well

He said, they used to place an Ace of Spades

In the front pocket of the men they killed

He said, the ace symbol meant death in their world

He said a lot of things

But talking about it didn’t unfreeze his face

They come back, but they’re forever changed

What innocence is left from their childhood

Is gone

Never to return

For the bullet

The bomb

The tank

The grenade

All of these things have burned it away

Like a fire to a plush landscape

War has torched all that they were

And given them that uncomfortable smile

This poem is from my book : Petals Falling

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