Issue Nine - May 2005

Partial Return

by Brooks

the masculine pronoun is used for consistency and is meant to include women soldiers

When Dylan first asked “When
will we ever learn,” I thought
we would. I believed Kennedy
when he told me I could make
a difference. And I saw
Martin Luther King's dream.
Now, I weep and rant because
these hopes are dead and
we've been bullied into another
war for peace.
The deaths are not even the worst­
these are at least final losses.
More cruel are the partials.
Partial life. Partial death.
Tangled minds. Suffocated hearts.
Ripped, torn and mangled bodies.
Nightmare experiences that drill
deep into the core. Stalked
by fear, never to walk free again.
The tender young man, sober
before war, will never be again.
The killer who must learn to
trust himself with a newborn.
And the soldier's children,
certain they caused Daddy
to be this angry stranger.
Bright lives darkened
by the smoke of killing,
the stink of death and, worst
of all, the horror of what
we are each capable.

©2005 Brooks