Day 25 of 31 Days in August, “The Camera”

Day 25 of 31 Days in August
The Final Hours Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project 2016


Day 5 of 22




The upcoming month of September is National Suicide Awareness Month http://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-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 https://www.22kill.com/team-22kill/ 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***








“The Camera”




I sit


I watch


I see the movement


Throughout the night


Families come in


Families fighting


As a loved one fights for their life


I see tears


I see sobbing


I see people holding each other tight


I see an ambulance outside


Come into the bay so fast


Followed by many vehicles


Filled with men in uniform


Staff moves quickly


Bringing the stretcher inside


The camera captures the face


Of the man on the stretcher


I watch as they push him quickly


Past the camera


I silently watch


Crews of uniformed men


All gathering round


It’s one of their own you see


This man who’s been brought in


My eyes are frozen


Watching the camera


As it zooms in on the waiting men


Stoic faces


Broken down faces


Two sentinels stand outside the door


Guarding silently


Watching quietly


As people move in


As people gather in the room


Crowding each other


Until a doctor is shouting


Then people move outside the room


They wait with the uniformed men


I see the measures taken


Silently I document it all


The camera removes me from the moment


Until I look up


As one of my officers comes in


His face is streaked with tears


Our eyes meet


No words are said


As he moves into the bathroom


To be alone and grieve


I turn back to the camera


My eyes begin to fill and overflow


Silently I watch


Until they give in


Until they give up


For the man they are all waiting on


Took extreme measures


To make sure


He would not make it back


I watch grieving faces


I watch angry men


Shoving their way out


As they leave the building


I watch angry men


As they go outside


I watch as they yell at one another


I watch as they begin to fight


As I watch


I am haunted by the one face


The one I saw


The one I recognized


As he passed the camera


Lying on the stretcher


For I knew as I saw him


He was gone


He would not come back


Their fight to keep him here


Was a futile effort


His decision had been made


This was to be his final hour




***


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