Saturday, March 8, 2014


  Personal Essay & Poem



In the 1960’s and 70’s, I observed a lot of men coming home from the Vietnam War and was dismayed by the treatment they had received from people on the street all the way up to the Capital in D.C. 
For the longest time, it bothered me but I never took any steps beyond joining peace demonstrations and marches and growing my hair long and protesting, protesting and protesting. After some time, I stopped participating because all that seemed to have happened was me getting harassed by local law enforcement while the war and treatment of the vets stayed the same.
As time marched on, and things changing in attitudes and policies, I forgot about the feelings I had had; that is, until recent years. With so many of our military personnel coming back injured, either physically, psychologically or both, I am reminded of the feeling I had buried. It is so sad to see so many young adults losing their lives, or losing parts of their bodies. For the most part, as far as I know, which may be miniscule, these men and women are receiving better medical treatment, getting better benefits and help and support from the American people; unlike what happened years ago.
It is this vision from the past that has lingered in the recesses of my mind and inspired me to write the following poem. Unfortunately, it is borne from actually having witnessed shameful actions by some individuals here at home.


He sits alone,
Away from the crowd,
Run wild
As to why
He’s shy,
Too good for anyone,
Looking for trouble
They snicker,
Sneer at him,
Make gestures,
And hurl
An insult or two
Yet no one
Extends an invitation,
Offers a warm smile,
Or takes a moment
To show compassion
Blinded by egos,
And selfish ideals,
They are unable
To see the truth
Or his feeling
Of unworthiness,
His insecurity
To join them
Or his missing legs
Lost in war.
                                                Chelle Munroe©
                                                March 8, 2014





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