Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Poem: ‘Oh Say, Can You See?’

Good Day World!

Every now and then I like to share my poetry.

Here’s a poem that means a lot to me. I did my tour of Duty in Vietnam in 1970. The ghosts of comrades still slip by me in my toxic dreams.

Somewhere, still hidden in the secret chambers of my brain there are huts burning and women and children screaming in terror.

oh say, can you see?

here’s what I see with my PTSD:
burnt villages, burnt roads, burned-out buddies
burnt memories, a burned-out family
that puts up with me

oh say, can you see
others like me?

our wounds are invisible, impossible to see
we wander through life seeking normalcy
while vaguely existing, a cure someday unlikely
we try to tread lightly, lightly…

oh say, can you see
others like me?

my night’s bring terrors infrequently
unexpectedly, like Charlie
my old enemy, known for being places he shouldn’t be
and on some sweat-driven nights he visits me

oh say, can you see
others like me?

days are no protection for my malady
intruding thoughts are another uneasy reality
what I see doesn’t always square with what’s happening to me
silently, invisibly, silently, silently…

oh say, can you see
others like me?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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