Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Living In Peace

Once homeless,
a Vietnam veteran
proudly flies
the American flag
outside his red-brick home.
The 60-year-old man
sits in the living room
of the place he's called home
for the past two-and-a-half years.
He enjoys the unconditional love
of his old white cat.
They're both survivors.
Cat was the only survivor
of a litter of kittens.
It’s the first time
he’s ever had a house.
He always lived in an apartment.
His treatments at the Veterans Hospital
turned his life around.
For the past four decades,
he has battled with post-traumatic stress.
Never married, nor a father,
just trying to care for himself
was a big enough challenge.
He couldn't see himself
sharing that burden.
He learned how to deal with PTSD
from the VA.
He’s not trying to make them look good,
but they saved his life.
It's been 40 years,
he still has nightmares.
For a while his life was pure hell.
He learned to pick up the pieces
and start over again.
Spending time with his beloved cat
and taking each day as it comes
is a source of strength.
For the rest of his life
he wants to live in the peace
that he has found.
He knows where he has been
and where he’s going.

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