the veteran

i would rather keep silent
not reveal my position
but for
the violence of battle
the bomb blast and
the piercing cries
cutting through the smoke
stained skies
demanding that i
command
these scant moments
to offer me rebuttal
to a war
which destroyed my moral compass
threw the best of my intentions
into darkness
and left me
exposed and defenseless
against the carnage of my decisions
no one can know
my brothers know
the choices we made
as our bodies fell
along the road
and somewhere on a television screen
a comfortable anchor
offers his critique
but he never asked me
he never aimed his weapon at the enemy
he only
opened his mouth
deep as the grave
and spewed out his opinion
on the choices we made
he is not my america
he is not my flag
the man standing beside me in battle
is the only man who understands
all else is noise
like the bomb blast
like the masters of war
like the infinite distance
between my war and yours

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2 thoughts on “the veteran

  1. What can I say? This ranks up there with some of the best pieces I have read. You have a gift and you have put it to use most effectively in this text. I might give this a deeper title and yet I can ‘t think of one more fitting.

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