Sunday, April 7, 2013

Summer of '74

I didn't get my Saturday Centus up yesterday, but I'm hoping my friend Jenny will forgive me for being so tardy. The prompt, as always, is in red below.

Summer of '74
©2013 Susan Noyes Anderson

It was the summer of 1974,
and he had never felt before
the restless longing of his youth
for something to hold up as truth.

The war was as over as killing could be.
He made it home but not home free.
His college friends, with lives well-planned,
tried hard but did not understand
his aching need to get away,
to keep the memories at bay.

His parents pled with him to stay.

He left as if he had no choice...
explained, but no one heard his voice.

Miscast as a stranger in his own home,
he took his strangeness on the roam;
risked too much, so he could feel.
Only in nightmares was he real.
Undone, he fled his childhood street,
afraid of friends he dared not meet...
a ghost of himself and incomplete.

He beat a path through five long years
then slipped and fell into his fears.
Truth came in waves, broke into tears.

This was the story of more than one of my peers,
I hope that those afflicted have since found peace.


Brian Miller said...

man...breaking my heart a bit here....and the song in the background as well...its an emotional that instrumental version....felt his story...

Nancy Claeys said...

Very powerful words.

Dina Lettre said...

What an emotional post...especially since I would've only been 1 year old. So hard to imagine.

Tima said...

Well done, once again. I love the emotion you're able to exude.

EG CameraGirl said...

Whoa! Those words are so powerful. My nephew is going through PTSD right now having gone to Iraq a few years ago. Very sad.

Grandma Honey said...

What hard times those were for so many. But 1974 was the beginning of my married life so I was rather oblivious to all that was going around about me, I'm sorry to say.

Stacy Crawford said...

Awesome poem to catch such an era.

My parents were married that summer and I came a year later.

Viki said...

Too many came home from Viet Nam feeling this way. Wonderful portrayal of what it was like. Good job.

karen said...

I knew many who experienced this - friends, and brothers of friends. It's hard to understand, and it's even harder to not be understood. Too bad we didn't/don't do a better job of healing spirits as well as bodies.

Karen S. said...

Oh my, broken heart indeed. You captured the true power of words again in this.

Friko said...

PTSD is a curse. A young man in the family suffers from it, after serving in Northern Ireland decades ago. There’s little hope that he will ever get better.

LeAnn said...

This was a very heartfelt poem. We have worked with some people in the Inner City that PTSD; it is very sad. Our son in law is getting his PHD in Psychology and is specializing in PTSD.
This was a powerful poem.
Blessings and hugs!

izzy said...

Ptsd is hard ! hard on everyone-

cjschlottman said...

The world can be cruel. Love your poem.

Jenny said...

Oh my, Sue.

This broke my heart.

And that background music.



I need kleenex.

And some of your mad writing skills.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness, this is powerful! I cry for those people who had to witness and participate in so much. I cannot imagine the pain, but you conveyed it well.

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