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Poetry Magnum Opus



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As I walk down the polished vinyl squares

and pass the open door, I want to stop

and see if I can help, except that others

know more than I. Offer empathy, perhaps.


People unseen through cracked doorways

moan or snore or sleep silently, none well.

They come or are brought because those

at home cannot heal or care for them.


I think of the collective misery emanating

from both sides of the aisle and it seems

to gather into a hell I want to run from,

sensing I may be among them soon.


So organized, on schedule with pills

and shots and catheters and bedpans,

meals on trays ignored by those who

cannot stand the smell of food.


Soldiers maimed and slung in plaster

suspended at angles, those who lie hour

after hour trying to remember what happened,

wondering where are the others.


I abort my appointment and flee.

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Vivid, sobering. I assume Walter Reed? And I live only less than 2 miles away in Northwest DC. Astute diagnosis: lots of treatment but no empathy.


"I abort my appointment"....the mil stays in but comes out.

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very vivid...great but disturbing imagery...i can almost smell the air and feel the floor under my feet...i wouldn't want to be there either...i wish you the best

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I think I know. I have written a poem for you - a poem with you in mind. Stay well, my friend. If one cannot forget one can still - must! - move on. There is no alternative except Black Despair. And that is no place for a man.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Impossible to put scenes and words like these in a comfortable place. I hope you still find some solace in art. I see your sheep most days. G.

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  • 1 month later...
David W. Parsley

Humbling, sobering work. Be well, Paco.


- Dave

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