Poetry: dVerse Open Link Night #270 (my first)

Thanks to Mish and the folks at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, for Open Link Night #270 (click for link). This poem messes with where my head’s been lately.

***


Combatant

It could have been me.
A nod, a blink, an okay
and the next forty-five
years …

had I not been killed, maimed
or driven insane
(as many of us were)

… would not have been anything
like what I look back to today,
fifty-six long years hence,
with contrition, feeling the loss;

Personal, hidden, illogical
survivor syndrome. I can’t
make sense of it. The feeling
of a warrior who wasn’t.

Life choices often made
thoughtlessly, in a blink.
I could be dead. Change the past?
Not on your life or mine.


***

Look both ways at guilt for life: fortune or folly.
Mind the gaps in the mindless wars with reality.

17 thoughts on “Poetry: dVerse Open Link Night #270 (my first)

  1. Spiky right and so true – resonates with the integrity of a man who has lived and knows what life is about – thanks for sharing so openly Bill… Gives us all pause for thought, I’m sure…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome to the pub, Bill! Yours is another of those poems that brings me closer to something I know nothing about and helps me to understand it a little bit more. The power of ‘a nod, a blink, an okay’ is amazing – it can change everything,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Survivor’s guilt is very real, and we think “there but for the grace of God” our life might have been extingiished in a blink. You recount the feelings well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderfully done, Bill. You have a wonderful pen (une belle plume, in French).

    Those “games” we play in our minds, the ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ that we really have no control over in the first place. We truly can torment ourselves, can’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome to Dverse, am not a regular at the bar but it certainly is a place to connect with such a range of emotion. Survivor’s guilt lasts a lifetime and you convey it so well and I think there is a need to share these felings. A colleague once gave a talk to my literature students on visiting the war graves in France. His father who was vey old wanted his son to lay some flowers on a grave of his friend. He had never talked about it until this point in time. It moved us all as that generation certainly hid their feelings. But these memories keep pushing up especially I think later in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome to dVerse! Maybe instead of living in guilt we can live more vibrantly in honour of those we’ve lost. I can only imagine the struggle and emotion though. Thanks for sharing this intimate reflection.Hope to see more of your work. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s