He once dodged bullets for his country in Vietnam.
He dodges cockroaches in a flea-bag motel now days.
Stuck in Room 103,
he can't find a place to stay in the city.
Stuck in a rat-infested place,
he’s like hundreds of veterans
living in cars, motels or on the street.
He knows one veteran who lives at a dorm
for employees of the race track.
Another veteran wanders down Broadway.
He knows of some veterans who camp in the woods.
Vets are living with their brothers and sisters
because they can't afford rent.
Too proud to say they are hurting
and at their ropes end
for a warm place with food.
He has practically given up.
Just a cardboard box of possessions
in his motel room.
Troubled by the stress of a long lost war,
he takes a van to the VA hospital
and looks for an apartment.
and tries not to come back to Room 103
until the traffic and shouting
coming through the paper-thin walls
quiets at night.