Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Walking Wounded

by Michele A. Perez

Forgive and forget,
I know Jesus,
That's what you said,
But it's really kind of hard to,
When this keeps playing o'er and o'er in my head,

Like Ground Hog Day the movie,
Only much, much worse you see,
I have left that soiled ground,
But it seems to have followed me,

I don't know if I'm in a waking nightmare,
Or in a walking sleep,
But it is the littlest things that trip it off in me,
The noon day test of the emergency PA,
On Wednesday I do dread,
I cringe inside and silently scream,
As I remember the dead,

The damned artillery,
I know they have their job you see,
As my home is shaken by their FTX,
It sends me running in the streets screaming
"Take cover or you'll be dead!"

I retreat to my private world and pretend to be alright,
Funny enough those dreadful dreams plague me at night,
Flashes of the past,
That I cannot remember,
Having me crying out and fighting
An enemy unseen,
Though it was the wife beside me
That actually got beaten.

Uncle Sam, I did my heroic duty,
Yes, I signed up and fought,
I had no clue what it would do to me,
I remember the faces
Of those who perished,
My brothers in arms I greatly cherished.

They tell me I’m the lucky one,
I made it home alive,
Kind of hard to believe it
When the war still rages inside,
No, I did not lose an arm or leg,
But the doctors can’t issue a prosthetic mind.

I look at my issue weapon,
Dark thoughts swirl in my brain,
I know that most won’t understand,
I’m a conflicted mess,
I hang in the balance between life and suicide,
Hating that I feel this way,
But feeling guilty I’m alive.

I adapt to the new normal,
I tell you I’m fine,
I’ll shake your hand
When you thank me for my service,
My smile hides the fact
I am the walking wounded.


  1. Wow! What a powerful and very true poem!! Having been the wife of a Marine that suffered from PTSD, I can say this is RIGHT ON! BRAVO for speaking up about it! Thank you!!

    1. No, thank YOU for reading and replying. I'm sorry for the ordeal you went through.