And Just Like That

You are lifted up and in thirty-six hours
The crisp, clean air blowing in off
The Pacific fills your nostrils;
Everywhere you go Mt. Rainier looms
Ever-present. And you have the subtle sense
Inside you that makes your senses tingle
Even though it is overpowered by sheer
Relief and jubilation to be stateside

And the days are filled with mundane tasks
That seem like child’s play. And the nights
Are full of pubs and beer and laughs. Fresh
Seafood, a real steak, television. An eternal
Joy is the party that will never end, no not now
Because you’re home. A surreal concept, though here.

But as you get on, and the hour draws near
The smiles are a little more shallow; the
Mundane tasks wear on your nerves a little easier
And when you’re at the pub you catch a glimpse
Of a familiar face, or a shape, or catch a whiff of
Something bad, and interrupting the scene is
One frame; just one quick flash of an image far
Away. And your smile goes a little more wry…

And you laugh a little less as you consciously
Push it away and try to fake the funk and bring
That happiness back. Intrusive thoughts.
Traffic too much, line at the shops too slow
That hole on the side of the road, and idiot
People who have no goddamned clue – not one!
And one day you wake up and find that
It was all so much easier overseas; the beers no
Longer to celebrate but in vein attempt to
Numb the thoughts, hide the scenes, forget
The past. And the present.

About anotherwarriorpoet

Mathew Bocian served as a Captain in the United States Army with the Stryker Brigade and was deployed to Mosul and Tal'Afar in 2004 - 2005, and to Baghdad for The Surge in 2007 - 2008. He left the Army in 2012 and now uses his poetry as a way to heal from the traumas of war, while attempting to express to readers the realities of war. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and holds a master's from the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
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