The Veteran’s Journey

The Faculty of Life regrets and fears
the package we’ve delivered is worse for wear.
It started off quite clean behind the ears
but found parts of the journey hard to bear.

The exuberance of youth first sped him on,
the outer wrapping strong and still intact
but “Follow orders, lad, now go along,
the years of war will put a stop to that.”

His mates who fell, still live inside his head
as homeward bound to strangers, he now goes.
Responsibilities and cares make up his bed,
back in a life that he no longer knows.

The solitude, despite surrounding love;
a bubble that no pin can ever burst,
has changed his way of thinking; how to move
with caution, a skill in which he is well versed.

Persistence, nurtured through the killing time,
prepared the way for Hope to struggle through
as shattered lives break rank and cross the line;
to a field of bitter memories, in which to start anew.

The condition of this package is a mess.
We did our very best to keep him safe
but the Faculty of Life must now confess
it was his inner strength that helped to reach
this place;

The outer wrap is torn but underneath,
the inner man stores courage; some to spare.
Hope, the eternal optimist, will breathe
and fan the flame of youth that once was there.

Time has patched him up with unseen thread;
embroidered golden moments on his heart
to balance things twixt living and the dead
but those closed eyes remain a vital part.

© Marion Sharville

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