Tell you a Story
I'm going to tell you a story.
It's a story of my life.
It's not got a happy ending.
It's full of trouble and strife.
I'm going to tell you about me.
And when I do please don't cry.
Wipe away your sadness.
And know, I really did try.
I was a boy when I joined the service.
But a man after they trained me.
Any emotion I knew was taken away.
And so began my life at sea.
I learnt to bomb a country.
Far away from the land that I knew.
I learnt to forget about the innocent.
I just knew I had a job to do.
Then came the war in the desert.
And again to my duty I did go.
I lost some friends out there in the sand.
And I lost a bit of me, yet I didn't know.
When I came home from my active duty,
I wasn't the man I was before the war.
I didn't love life the same way.
I couldn't find the man I was before.
A policeman I then became.
The thin blue line my new way of life.
A slave to the system.
There was no nine to five.
I saw death and destruction.
Poverty, hatred, greed and more.
Day after day I struggled on.
But each day I was living my own personal war.
Years went by and no one I could tell.
My wife and my children lost me I fear.
And depression my only comfort in life.
Then it hit me, and I wiped away a tear.
My life had been for serving others
Yet no one knew or even cared.
My wife had long since left me.
I lived alone in a house we shared.
Still I serve the people.
Still I fight this war in my head.
Still I am lonely.
And still sleep alone in my bed.
I have taken the life of others.
Without cause seen life taken away.
I have witnessed all what's wrong in this world.
And cried at the end of nearly every day.
So next time you see a soldier.
A policeman smiling at you.
Please just smile and say hi back.
Cos you don't know what they've gone through.
Makes me think that ...
The psychological impact of work is palpable all around. All too often the damage is invisible. Serving in the navy for a country that sends you to a conflict zone and into harms way can induce a level of psychological trauma with consequences that resonate for a long, long time. Doctors, intellectuals and students have examined PTSD from many angles. They have written a great deal of interesting and useful work. Yet little of it matches the power of a soldier poet living it.
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