prisoner of war, can he ever forget what he
heard, what he saw?
turns on the TV, slams his bedroom door
still hears their shouts, damn their stupid war!
love has been beaten wrong side out by thoughtless acts,
lost to words that pound like fists,
scream and shout!
no hands were laid upon her, twas conflict that stripped her bare
naked soul withering, disintegrating, until she didn’t care.
bruises fade to yellow, begin to melt away
fresh sounds assault the soul, raising welts of colorful array.
she slips in to say goodnight, he pretends he doesn’t see
whispering to herself, a trembling hand shuts off his blank TV.
secrets confront his ears, unrelenting silence surrenders up to him her fears.
my angry son, when you grow up and are a man, will you take prisoners of war?
will you beat them with your voice, bruise them with your anger and never
lift a hand?
will you use their love to build a prison, design each brick to beat them down,
enslave their trusting hearts?
when she cries, will you turn your head, slap her face with words instead?
will your harshness sting and blind her eyes, cloak the disorder you disguise?
when she sobs herself to sleep, wondering if she’s insane,
will you kiss away her tears just to strike again?
prisoner of war, can you ever forget what you heard, what you saw?
when you leave this house can you wash clean, shed the stench of in between?
can you ever forget what you heard, what you saw, can you ever be released,
our prisoner of war?
by Jeanne Marie
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