I come home after the second
of two extra-long days at work,
tired, put out, and a little sore
from the unaccustomed hours.
I want to complain about it,
to moan aloud and be pitied,
but I glance at the calendar
and the whine sours on my lips.
A bad day is clutching the ground
when movement means instant death
as your best friend lies bleeding
beyond your outstretched fingers.
A bad day is having to pick up
shattered remains which had been
a smiling child who waved at you
when you passed her moments before.
A bad day is sights and sounds
that leave permanent wounds
no doctor can ever treat or heal;
they are inflicted on your mind.
The calendar shows that today
is Veteran’s Day – and suddenly
I am profoundly grateful my day
only involved a few extra hours.
– – – – – – – –
This is dedicated to all veterans of all the services.