Dogs 2010

PROCESSION
(1/20/10)


what
are you supposed
to feel
when you are only
an ordinary citizen
simply trying
to understand
it all?

this weekly
reckoning
of those lost
and maimed
in a war
undeclared

I wish
that they weren't
over there
but
they are

I was in
the Coast Guard
and never really
in harm's way

personally
I knew
one man killed
in an off duty
accident
and another
who survived
the Guard's
only (at that time)
C-130 crash

my uncle
a Marine
made it back
from Vietnam
physically
but not
mentally
or emotionally
after being wounded
over there

that is
the extent
of my first hand
knowledge
of casualty

a neighbor kid
returned from Afghanistan
apparently the same
as before
he left

he knew those
who didn't

those
who weren't

I didn't know
what to say
to him
other
than the usual
daily pleasantries

any mention
about his time away
seemed to make him
uncomfortable

of course
I don't understand

I can't
understand

I accept
that

he moved
away
but I still
think
about him

I'm glad
that he
made it
home

that much
I can
feel