G.I. Joes don’t need wheelchairs;
they don’t come with removable
limbs. Their laser rifles, wind-up
satellite dishes, and grappling hook
cannons are the weapons of these
toy soldiers. Our weapons are whiskey,
anti-psychotics, and self-inflicted
gunshot wounds. The real American
heroes huddle in the dark corners
of a V.A. hospital waiting room,
a new kind of P.O.W. camp, prisoners
of our own memories and hallucinations.
Daydreams and night terrors take
the place of heroic battle cries
and “Don’t Do Drugs” messages plastered
on a Saturday morning television screen.
Knowing is supposed to be half the battle,
but we’re not even a quarter of the way
there. We can’t wait for the next
commercial break; we’re already broken.
Nick Brush is a graduate student at the University of North Texas pursuing his Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature. A Shakespeare fanboy, Nicholas writes poetry in his spare time, which means he hardly ever has time to write. His work reflects a veteran’s conflicts off the frontlines and on the battlefield of a civilian society that doesn’t seem to understand.