Day 24 of 31 Days in August, “Down in the Dark”

Day 24 of 31 Days in August
The Final Hours Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project 2016

Day 4 of 22


The upcoming month of September is National Suicide Awareness Month

The significance of 22 is the average number of veterans who die by suicide each day

Please visit Honor Courage Commitment, inc’s page to learn about the mission and how they are bringing awareness by using the hashtag #22kill and their 22 push-up challenge.

***This Collection’s poems’s subject is suicide and can be triggering to read. Please practice CAUTION BEFORE READING***

“Down In the Dark”

He stood so imposing

With all his experience and muscles

The envy of so many

All wanted to be partnered with him

This day it was me

The look he gave me

Discounted me

Let me know he was disgusted

By the choice of the day

He had no permanent partner

His had taken his life the year before

No one was good enough

No one was willing to work with him

Everyone believed he was cursed

No one wanted to be his partner

The looks I got

Were full of sympathy

For what they thought

Was ahead of me that day

I looked at this man

Muscled, experienced with the work

I looked at his face

His eyes hidden behind dark lensed glasses

I looked deeper and saw the grief

He turned his back to me

Gave me the sign to come along

We headed down into the dark

Interspersed with light filled moments

There was a beauty

Down there in the dark

He crawled ahead

Yelling constantly

Until my ears were ringing from the sound

We crawled at a slow pace

Until we reached a spot

Full of leaves

Light shining through holes in the cement

He stopped, frozen in place

Before him a small pile

Of crushed cans of beer

He held one laughing

“This was his favorite beer”

He face crumbled

I crawled closer

Not touching him

I saw tears streaking down his face

From underneath his helmet

Sobs shook his body

He turned in upon himself

As if he were in pain

I stayed where I was

Not touching

Only observing

This beer had been shared

During many nights together

Sharing about their days

All before his partner’s final hour

The one from which he never came back

He spoke aloud

Sobbing as he spoke

“How could he DO this to me!!”

Asking me “why, why why!!

Did he leave me behind?”

I had no answer

I could only gently touch his shoulder

He leaned in

Pulling into my arms

Quietly I held him

Until the moment passed

We crawled on

We continued the training

I became his partner of choice

Each time we had a choice

To the envy of all

Who never knew about the moment

Down in the dark

No one knew how close he’d come

To taking the path of his best friend

How close he’d come

To leaving it all behind

How close he’d come

To his final hour.



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