Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chi Man

His eyes sparkle behind thick glasses
and his silver beard is almost
to his belt.
The veterans follow
the little man’s fluid moves.
He was a medic in Vietnam.
Drafted into the Army at age 18.
He was good at grabbing people
and putting them back together.
But that’s also how he got PTSD.
Tai chi helped save him.
War bothers him.
He can’t stop war --
he knows that --
but helping veterans
calm down
so they don’t waste years
like he did
trying to get his head
screwed back on straight.
Breathing is the key.
Breathing is pill-free.
It works.
He used to be angry about Vietnam,
but he’s glad he lived through hell.
As an older man with that experience,
is like someone who’s thankful
for the experience of cancer.
It’s hard to understand
unless you’ve been through it.

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