This week I met an ex-concript who was a doctor on the Border. He flew into Angola regularly to pick up the pieces during and after battles. He did his best to save the lives of young soldiers with horrific injuries. He witnessed combat first hand.
My meeting with him brought back memories of my own. To help me sleep that night, I dumped some of my impressions onto the pages of my notebook. Afterwards, I slept fitfully, a sign of how far I have come on my own healing journey. Here is the result:
I hear your painful story
Of broken bodies beyond your power to mend.
Of horror and inhumanity and torture
And death after death after death.
The deadening of the soul a way of surviving.
A suppression of the madness that starts to engulf you and the
Meaninglessness threatens so much that a leap into the abyss, to your death,
Would seem a bearable ending.
I hold it now, only a tiny part, I know,
A sadness, heavy on my soul.
A darkening of my spirit at the hearing of it all:
The stuff I dished out,
The death and maiming and terror I inflicted from afar is the horror you saw and the broken bodies you tried to heal.
A different time yet part of the same sweating hell.
I feel it now, hard and heavy and cold in my gut: a frozen ball of tears.