Soldier Boy.

16 May 2015

Last January severe storms swept across parts of the United States. Many people suffered, none more so than Moodscope user Di, who was unable to reach her beloved brother as he lay dying in a hospice many States away. We, and the people who write and use the Moodscope blog knew of this because Di told us through the comments facility. To some extent we were able to hold her hand and support her through it. She told us a little about her brother and the closeness she felt for him was obvious. She has now written this poem about him and for him. It is a sad poem, full of grief but also full of love:


A Casualty of War ~ Fifty years later

Standing six feet, five inches

An athlete, a saint to me, his baby sister

A poet, a songwriter, a musician.

A sometimes too-compassionate business person, a stand-up comic

Time tortures him as he works to block out childhood pains

He saves my life, not once, three times.

He runs...and runs...and runs some more...

With drugs,

with alcohol,

With women who help mask his torture though he is

gentle, and fiercely protective of them

And Christ.

He goes to war at eighteen

"For our country," says he

"Because Papa went," and he craves Papa's approval

It is an unquiet and complicated time.

Like many of our young when called into service,

Responding to guerrilla warfare and confronted by a small child

Strapped with explosives,

Running toward his squad,

He removes the child with robot-like coldness

He, a devoted lover of all children

Forty-five years later he finally tells me, his tag-along baby sister.

He returns to the United States of America

After Korea and Viet Nam

He is a wise, old man of twenty-two

People spit on him

Yell at him

No job

No creature comforts

Yet he is first to arrive to cradle me, his sister, upon the death of my only son.

Life runs away while

His path continues with seething harshness

Diagnosed with:

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Agent Orange


Heart Disease


Hemorrhaging on the brain

Each contracted in Korea and Viet Nam

Between eighteen and twenty-two.

I watch

My heart on standby

I cannot breathe

Life's ending arrives

I sing to him

Three thousand miles separate us

I cannot get to him

to hold him as the physical body fades

Roads are shut down

Weather is severe.

For days and nights I call every two hours

A caring assistant places the phone to his ear

I hear his efforts to speak

His moans, his breath

He is comatose yet cries a single tear upon hearing my voice and

His favorite song

I sing more

And more

And then I cannot stop singing.

And laughing

I cannot stop laughing as I

Once again,

Remind him of the time he dropped me, putting my head through the television screen when we were little

And the samurai sword that impaled his foot to the wood floor of our home

After calling me for help he has to pull it out himself because

Upon seeing the fountain of blood arcing upward

I have fainted.

I sing all the songs he begged for as a child

As the last unsteady note fades with my breath

I know

God is watching

My brother's spirit is finally free.


A Moodscope member.

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