War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

so honoured

today I was contacted by a vet of the Falklands war who has PTSD and who is publishing a book of words/poetry on PTSD as a fundraising project for the UK Charity Talking2Minds. he is interested in having me send some words.

I am honoured. deeply honoured that my words might mean something. I’ll send some of my Lazarus poems which are about a soldier (fictional) with PTSD and the woman who loves him no matter what, a woman who witnesses his great suffering, but never lets him down.

one of the first conversations I ever had in camp was with a young soldier named D (lots of them seem to have D for an initial!). he was a vet of ’06. we were sitting in the BAT watching 300 (or whatever that Spartan flick’s name is) and we got chatting. he pulled out his pill box – one of those Su Mon Tue Wed Th Fri Sa plastic cases, the kind that old people have in their kitchens to remind them to take their meds through the day, and he rattled it like a maraca – pinks, blues and whites, maybe a yellow in there.

D was maybe 29 but his racoon ringed eyes looked 100. he carried too much weight. had a newborn. was in marriage therapy after only a few years of marriage. and was being transferred back to civilian life.

D sat there and told me what it was like to see his officer disappear before his very eyes. his officer sitting in the front seat. one minute there. one minute not. they have a name for that phenomena. it’s not nice. not nice at all. I’ll let you find out yourself. I don’t need to spread the trauma.

anyway, over the next few months I got to check in on D. sometimes he was good. sometimes not. I haven’t heard from him in a long, long time. but I’m grateful to him for being honest with me. trusting me. he was my intro to PTSD 101.

I’m writing a requiem. it’s premiering in 2012 with a major symphony. I’m dedicating it not just to those who died in body, but to those who died in spirit, mind, or heart.

I dedicate it to all who let me walk with them. I walk with them still. I always will. lovingly. as they walk with me.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled so honoured. It was posted here on September 15, 2011.


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