Ghosts – © 1982

A poem about being haunted by the ghosts of War.

This actually happened, exactly the way it says it did, 10 years after I left Vietnam. She stayed with me another 10 years.

Ghosts – © 1982

She finds me crouched down in the corner,
My back against the wall.
She sees the pain that’s in my eyes,
Those tears about to fall.
She reaches down and strokes my hair.
Says it will be all right.
Her voice is soft, a place of calm,
In the madness of the night.
I only see the ghosts behind her.
She knows they’re there somehow.
She says how much she loves and needs me,
Back in the here and now.
I see her face, the fear, the pain.
The ghosts have touched her heart.
And I push her back, send her away.
In this she has no part.
I know that I am hurting her.
It all seems so unreal.
But this cross is only mine to bear.
This pain is mine to feel.
Though I may loose her love someday,
I know it’s just as well.
Better she should walk away from me,
Than share my time in hell.
I’ll tell her how I love and need her,
When the ghosts have gone away.
And I’ll spend my sleepless nights alone,
Wondering how I’ll make her stay.

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