Rookie (Feb.27,1924 / Long Branch, NJ)

Battle Fatigue (Ptsd) - Poem by NORMAN ROSS

I lay upon a fallow slab, like stone;
My eyes read Death within the white-walled room;
The wild mind whirled, in eddies to despoil
The twisted nerves, the blood, the sallow bone.

They knew no reason for my sense of doom
Those learned doctors of the living soil;
The sword, the fire and the blood-red sea
Locked me firmly in a fathomless tomb.

I waited. Cold. Stark as a serpent coil.
No shock. No ice. No words had set me free.
And now-pentathol. The watery flume sluiced
Along my veins from a slender foil.

I wept. The blackness funneled through a cone
Of swirling tears. I slept. Alone, alone.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 8, 2010

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