This was a piece I wrote on Veteran’s Day, I think it was in 2015.
A man sits quiet, sipping his drink,
At a bar that reminds him of home.
He never had a childhood, we all know,
He was born into battle, alone.
His bright blue eyes turned as gray as ash,
His face was bleached by the heat.
Though he has no scars from the battlefield,
His wounds are more than skin deep.
He’s still fighting, though he isn’t armed.
The enemy is not in the news.
Monsters aren’t just in children’s stories,
And this one he just can’t refuse.
He raises his glass, he raises his gun,
Calming his mind that is overrun.
Escaping his past, his desolation,
He prays for more than isolation.
The battles took him away from the sun,
And from the darkness, he seeks salvation.
He motions the barkeep for another drink,
More ammo for his arsenal.
He charges the enemy without orders,
So victory is impossible.
Confused and wounded, we help him home,
Then ask about his destination.
He begins to cry and shows us a picture,
Shows his sad trepidation.
Three little boys, and a beautiful woman,
Dressed in their Sunday clothes,
On the back was an inspiring note,
“We love you! Please hurry home!”
He said he never came back from that trip,
Even today he is still there.
We ask if he wants us to take him home,
He cries, “I don’t think they care.”
He fades away to fight another fight,
So we get him inside the car.
We go to the address in his wallet,
But we didn’t have to go far.
He fires a gun that doesn’t exist,
Invisible grenades explode.
He lives to fight another day,
Every day, he implodes.
The door opens for a crying wife,
And she touches his face.
“You’re home, love, not over there.”
He smiles in her embrace.