and what they are worth.
|I bought my first tattoo
a week before I turned sixteen,
trying to impress a woman.
I earned my Army dog tags
at the age of seventeen,
after lying about birth date.
The photo of our wedding day
shows happy couple, so in love,
before they sent me off to war.
Prosthetic leg and P. T. S. D.,
souvenirs from combat zone,
sapped my spirit and broke my will.
That cold canister of bad news
brought more than wife and child could handle,
cost me job, family and home.
The Purple Heart and Silver Star
mean nothing when you are hungry
and sleeping on park benches.
Scars on my heart, scars on my wrist.
I could not continue
facing such bleak prospects.
The wilted lily on my grave
testifies to awareness of value
bestowed on soldier's sacrifice.
24 lines of Free Verse poetry.