This months poem is in memory of our veterans.
REFLECTIONS OF WAR
I am a quiet observer in a veteran’s clinic.
I see men and women proudly wearing
caps, t-shirts, and leather jackets,
decorated with service-related patches
that announce, “I’m a vet.”
Crew cuts, ponytails, long beards
define age and wars:
Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm,
Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe World War II.
Strong, healthy men and women
now with built-up shoes and prosthetics.
Some depending on others
to get from here to there.
I hear the hum of an electric wheelchair.
I hear the rhythmic cadence of cane tips striking the floor.
I hear resonant sounds coming from an artificial voice box.
I see a man with a scarred face with enough lip left
to make a one-sided smile.
I see a tall thin man walking at a snail’s pace,
yet I feel his determination.
I see a distinguished looking gentleman
wearing a dapper hat, and a suit tailored
to accommodate his amputated left leg.
I see a face with a blank stare.
Is he remembering,
or trying to forget?
I see vets greeting each other
with handshakes and warm hugs,
often sharing war stories.
I feel remorse for veteran’s physical and emotional loss.
I feel appreciation for veteran’s sacrifice.
I feel ambivalent toward war.
Rose Bingham 2015
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