Twelve: the hours in the day

Which my heart still beats

Reminding me that I made it out

When you never did.


The number of months in the year

During which I think about that day

And remember what we did

And what we did not.


The age of your son, or close to it

Older than, I imagine; nearly a man now

The birthdays and memories so fond

That you never got to see.


The years it’s been since we lost you

In what was probably preventable

But also was unavoidable in the way

War is; its detestable glory calls the willing.


The number of times I’ve wanted to

Visit your grave when I thought about

How to spend my annual use-or-lose

But was too crippled by fear;

Afraid to meet your family but

Ashamed that I never have.

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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1 Response to Twelve

  1. GP Cox says:

    An excellent expression of what you feel. Frankly, it kind of hit home.

    Liked by 1 person

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