A VA DAY

I saw the brother in a wheelchair sitting in a corner of the room.
Missed him on first glance
Don’t know how I could have.
His eyes, locked in fight or flight, filled the room with their emptiness. (Does he ever blink?)

A sensitive soul perhaps
Unable to make the midnight blast from family farm to killing field.
Had not the bravado to shake hands with the dead
Nor shake the smell of napalm from his nose.

Taught the fight was amongst men
Hand to hand on the field of battle.
Glory…..Honor and Heroism.
No one mentioned the sight of children dying
And old women crying
And old men frying.

The brother in a wheelchair
Had a tale to tell
But it seemed that few could listen
As the truth is hard to hear.
No need.
His eyes, they told it for him.

As I passed him in the lobby
And he sat there all alone
It took me less that a minute to think this thought.
The brother in a wheelchair appeared to have been
Locked in the same thought for the last forty years.

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