R B Seals

Bronze Star - 2,540 Points (Columbus, Ohio)

Fragment Of War (Veterans Day) - Poem by R B Seals

In neighboring park, beneath the
sunlit, pink and white canopy
of the blossoming cherry trees
an older man bent and gray,
clothed in everyday attire, sits
alone, poised in reflective stance,
blending nondescript, sometimes
invisible on weathered, teal-colored
bench, in filtered light of midday.

Seldom noticed,
he reaches down to
embrace his distal thigh.
Gently, he kneads the crafted,
circular mound that once
joined to knee and leg—
the ever-present reminder
of a war long-ago fought and
the nightmares that never die.

Sometimes, he can still see it:
the appendage, as it was
—strong, essential, vital—
before the perversity of combat and
consequent IVs, clamps and sutures.
Indeed, a strong reminder of before:
before the call to duty and the oath,
before the glory and the sacrifice
—deadly, numbing...senseless—
before realities of an unforeseen
outcome and uncertain future.

Despite the many years,
the remnant still toys with him
playing phantom games, and for brief
moments, the limb seems to return—
a cold and callous reminder of a former
self abruptly snatched from his person,
featured in Technicolor flashbacks—
reruns that smolder, ignite and burn.

Close by, crutches standby as helpful,
trustworthy and dedicated servants
—strong, ready, supportive—
and like the warrior they serve, a
little less kept, a little more worn out.
Like their keeper, the years of wear
and tear, reflect on a life "lived"
moving toward growing decline and
obscurity, unlike the tides of war no
chance to evade, flank, or turnabout.

Passersby come and go,
paying little notice the flawed,
faceless form bending on bench:
another nameless, homeless person
—destitute, derelict...disgusting—
presumed looking for handouts,
judged, "another burden on society."
No matter the many who gave up
their youth, goals and dreams to
preserve a nation's way of life;
no matter the sacrifices of those
who would lose a limb, a life, or
a love preserving freedoms others
not in step would take for granted...
Heck, just another burden on society!

Topic(s) of this poem: disability, soldier, veteran, veterans day, war


Comments about Fragment Of War (Veterans Day) by R B Seals

  • Susan Williams (4/5/2016 8:03:00 PM)


    Impressive write about one of so many- too many- handicapped veterans of a war. This was a poem worth stopping and reading and definitely worth writing. The image of those crutches will stick with the reader as they should if mankind is to ever have redemption- - - - - -]
    Close by, crutches standby as helpful,
    trustworthy and dedicated servants
    —strong, ready, supportive—
    and like the warrior they serve, a
    little less kept, a little more worn out.
    Like their keeper, the years of wear
    and tear, reflect on a life “lived”
    moving toward growing decline and
    obscurity, unlike the tides of war no
    chance to evade, flank, or turnabout.
    (Report) Reply

    R B Seals R B Seals (4/6/2016 1:18:00 PM)

    Thank you so much, Susan, for your kind words in support of the writing. Your focus on the aspect of the crutches is most noteworthy, as their less apparent, yet significant role and value in this veteran's life is not appreciated or fully understood by the passing public. Thank you again, Susan and best wishes!

    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Abdulrazak Aralimatti (10/4/2015 6:50:00 PM)


    Verily, a heart touching poem,
    the alive in wars with deep scars face a great trauma,
    Added to my favorite poem list..........10
    (Report) Reply

    R B Seals R B Seals (10/5/2015 1:53:00 AM)

    Thank you for honoring the work by adding it to your my favorite poem list!

    R B Seals R B Seals (10/4/2015 10:30:00 PM)

    Your words aptly reflect the true meaning beneath the work. Thank you for the very gracious rating you assigned the work! Best wishes!

  • Godfrey Morris (5/25/2015 9:34:00 PM)


    Great write. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

    R B Seals R B Seals (5/27/2015 12:52:00 AM)

    Thank you, Godfrey, for your interest in the writing! Indeed, a needed focus on a small segment of society often overlooked by the masses.

  • Darlene Walsh (4/20/2015 5:55:00 AM)


    War is
    —deadly, numbing...senseless—

    Your poem is a magnificently sad description of one of the costs of war. Some loose more than others, but no one wins in war.

    “another burden on society.”
    The saddest line in the poem. Our veterans need more respect and consideration for what they have given.
    (Report) Reply

    R B Seals R B Seals (4/21/2015 3:47:00 AM)

    Hi, I concur on your key points! I am glad at least someone feels as I do and can derive that understanding from the work. Thank you so much for your kind remarks!

Read all 9 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Sunday, March 22, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, June 2, 2016


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