In Honor of Poetry Month

Another one from the archives….

The Wisdom of the Afflicted

How do I not be

A veteran?

My identity defined by my life’s shame?

Unremittingly blamed

By myself

For being the sum of my experience

Ignorant of events

Until survival made knowledge irrelevant

I feel like a brittle leaf

Pinned on a twig by the wind

Rustling helplessly to be freed

Before I crumble in the breeze

It is a tender spot

Healed and cushioned by time

‘Til it becomes a mere plot

In some dope-induced war story

But it smarts at the touch

Of rough-skinned rhetoric

And it aches a warning

Of impending storms

I am a prophet by pain

I have the wisdom of the afflicted

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