Day 28 of 31 Days in August, “The Sunday Paper” 

Day 28 of 31 Days in August
The Final Hours Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project 2016

Day 8 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 Sunday Paper”

We lay there looking at the sky

Gently holding hands

Talking in soft voices

Turning to look at each other

I’m afraid to go

He told me

I’m afraid I’ll never come back

He told me

I’m afraid of what I will see

He told me

I’m afraid of what I will become

He told me

All I could do was hold his hand

Touch his face

Let him know I would be here

We lay back and looked at the sky

Gently holding hands

Three years went by

His letters stopped

By the beginning of the second year

I grieved from the loss

Of this dear friend’s contact

Until finally life was worth living again

I moved away

Began a new life

I moved even further away

Then further still

Until the day I circled back

Coming back to where I had begun

Life moved on

Several more years passed

Until the day I saw him again

Not recognizing him at first

His hair long

His face dejected

His demeanor filled with sadness

His body still lean and tall

Had become bowed by his inner burdens

My partner and I quickly pushed the gurney past

Loaded with our patient of the day

Our eyes met

Brown looked at deep blue

I saw recognition

He walked quickly by and I turned back

To see him standing there

Staring after me

We left the building

I tried to give my attention to the road

My turn to drive

Was a blessing in disguise

I thought about those many years ago

I thought about the last time we’d talked

I thought about the last letters I’d received

Until there had been no more

I wondered what those years had done

I wondered at what he’d seen

I wondered how he’d been

I wondered if his fears had been realized

And he’d become the man

Not the one he’d hoped he’d be

But the one he most feared he would become

Until a week later

On a Sunday morning

Coffee sweet and milky in my hand

I read the paper

And discovered he was no more.



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