The Broken Man
Our minds can be fragile
l met a broken man, one day.
He sat beside me. He had much to say.
l could not help but listen.
His eyes still had a sparkle , though pain was their main feature.
l was mesmerised as l sat beside this creature...
Such long hair, and beard the same.
It was all he had in abundance...
The rest of him was skin and bone,
A tiny, weatherbeaten frame.
It was ´´just his way´ He assured me.
l need not run for food,
He excercised to excess, in attempts to lift his mood.
But hair and beard.... that´s different , he let them both grow free.
He hadn´t always been so broken,
He assured me he´d been happy
but life does cruel things , you know
To all of us as we live and grow.
He placed his hand inside his pocket,
pulling out a picture, old and crumpled
though it was. It meant the world to him.
In the picture was a man with thick, dark hair,
A beard so thick he sported too, and on
His lap a little girl, with eyes like his.........
But without the pain.
My broken man, was trying hard to fight
a tear that was rising, , as he put the photograph away,
He WOULD not be found crying.
´´ A Handsome man,´´ l interjected .
Is it you, when younger?.
He looked at me with now sad eyes....
´´Well, He has my name, and that´s my daughter,
But Is it me?. l couldn´t say, l went to Vietnam, you know?
And after Nam, we none of us are truly sure of who we are.¨¨
l said, l thought that all the boys were brave to go
so far away to fight an unfair, dirty war. They thought that they were helping.......
He answered me with ..... Silence.......
This took my mind back to my childhood
Our gentle Uncle Tommy. How many years was he compelled
to live as a P.O.W in Japan, a living hell....?
The same expressions then and now,
´´He never was the same again.....´´´
´´He came back, a different man...´´
And most of all when we were children,
The warning when Uncle´d visit.....
´´Don´t ask of experiences from Japan´´
The same with the man beside me now.
Best not ask of Vietnam.
The day l met this broken man,
The sun was scorching down on us.
The sky so blue, yet pale indeed.
The sun so bright, it faded light from
deeper, bluer skies.
My mum, had taught me back in childhood
´Never talk to strangers´
l said this as l stood up and shook the hand of my broken man.
Somehow, l think she would forgive todays´conversation.
´See you again.....´´´He shouted...
as l turned and walked away.