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

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***

“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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