Sunday, July 15, 2007

War-Torn Heart

We sit around a table
My parents, my sister, my brother-in-law and I
My dad starts to talk about the war
This my friends is a rarity
35 years have passed and this is a story my mother hasn’t heard
He ends the story by saying that there is no glory in going to war and he doesn’t know any soldier that thinks that way
My mom tells me a story I’d never heard that night
About how the war ruined my dad’s life and how he couldn’t concentrate in school anymore and he dropped out
I’d never known that
A lot of people in my parent’s generation didn’t go to college, I never thought much about it
The man I’m in love with is being sent away for a second tour
Using the word tour makes it sound so nice
Gee I think I’ll take a tour of _________ (you fill in the blank)
I’m reading A Separate Peace with my sophomores
It’s a novel that takes place during World War II
The characters, all high school students can’t wait to be in the army
They jump out of a tree into the water pretending they’re jumping from a plane
Seems so foolish to my kids but times have changed as have perceptions about war
One of the characters joins the army and goes AWOL because he can’t handle it
We haven’t gotten to that part yet
I don’t know what really goes on during war
I don’t know if the movies I see are realistic or not
I know that the soldiers and former soldiers that I know seem withdrawn, don’t talk a lot
It’s a common trend
Politicians sit in expensive suits in plush chairs and talk about how great the war is going
While the next generation is dying in foreign lands
He’s shut me out since he found out he’s going back to Iraq
I get to hear from his mother that he’s not sure he wants to be in a relationship while away at war
Him going to war makes me cry, those harsh words told to me by a third party makes me cry, my own pessimistic thoughts make me cry
We met because of the war, yes this is true
We started talking while he was there the first time
I barely knew him and I was upset about him being there
This time will be so much worse
I look into those blue-green eyes and wonder what they’ve seen
He can’t even sleep through a night without nightmares
This draws me to him, I want to help him but he doesn’t want my help
All it does is anger me about the government, the president, and our whole country sometimes
He’ll be gone in 2 months time
Don’t ask me the day because the army only gives them 10 days notice
For now I have to sit here with my war-torn heart
And not only pray that he’ll be ok but that he’ll also let me into his life before he leaves
Perhaps we can be miserable together – him for the things he has to see and me for the things that are forced upon him
He only came home in May it seems so unfair
He tells me that I could never survive in war because I get scared of a bug
In truth I could never survive in a war because I feel remorse for killing even a bug
He sleeps with a gun by his bed and that scares me
I told this tale at the dinner table and everyone said it was common
Common maybe, but not something I could get comfortable with
For now I’m sitting back and letting someone else control my life the way that the gov’t is controlling his

by Tammy Manor


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