Combat Veteran's Lament

Vietnam Revisited

The face in the mirror is a face I can’t see.

I seem to forget what that face used to be.

I’ve searched and I’ve prayed for that face to appear,

But all that I see is a cracked, broken mirror.


I hear endless missles explode in my ears.

I feel the harsh downpour, the myriad hot tears.

I smell the burnt flesh, and I touch the cold ground.

There’s no sign of water.... but surely, I’ve drowned.


I live in a daydream and waken at night

To memories laden with guilt, laced with fright.

I follow my fantasies; there is nio choice.

The screams that I hear are my own tortured voice.


Awake in my nightmare, I watch it unwind:

The film of atrocity moored in my mind.

I live it again as it scorches my soul.

At sunrise, I shudder. I’m no longer whole.


“But why has the dawn come?” I ask every day.

I feel that the night wind has whisked me away.

I gaze in the mirror, but there’s nothing to see.

Ghosts don't cast reflections. There is no more”me.”


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