Quagmires of the past

war poetry

As dusk is nigh
and birds take flight
to a resting place chosen
for the weary,
so, too, do we gather closer
to each other
and the shimmering stars
over our platoons
are about to enter the foreground.

The awe of sounds
in our midst
that are strangely familiar
lessen our burdens
a wondrous puzzle
infused with
glorious metaphors
coupled with terror
as our constant companion
abound with questions
and a cornucopia
of contemplations.

Will we risk being afraid
to falter?  
can we proceed
without caution?
can we thrive
without the momentum
to ask the critical questions,
and investigate
the quagmires of the past?
and where will we go next
what country will we invade
if we don’t?

As a psychotherapist for over 25 years helping people through various crisis, I began to see the long-term effects on vets including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, addictions, family/relationship problems and the like. As a poet and freelance writer I wrote this poem after the invasion of Iraq. I became concerned about the human community and losing touch with our lack of a global commitment to peace.