Combat rage follows a veteran throughout his life.


This rage—I can’t really measure, goes on forever.
Can’t contain it, can’t make it stop, can’t see the end.
This fugitive sample of combat survival
can’t be buried. I am always harried by…

This rage—kept growing when you said “Welcome home”, instead of,
We’re sorry, we didn’t know about the death of tenderness,
the killing, the price paid, and…

This Rage—Is a partition held in place by my lack of contrition;
A division risen on backs turned, eyes averted;
A wall, polished and black, with no shelf to receive retribution.
No portal that understanding passes, only the reflection of…

This Rage—you won’t accept in me, a soldier
you sent to hold your honor in sacred trust,
and so disguised the violence as valor.
You reveled in my bravery now demand I hide my frailty, and…

This Rage—

© Tom Puetz, 2011

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