Kristi Ivey

Fierce Echo

Here I am, SEE ME.

The flesh and blood Me.

Standing in the shadows
Fierce training echoing.
A sorry cable show,
camouflaging the scars.
Dancing on death’s precipice.

Choice between sorry life or afterlife.
Smells, sounds, rustle of trees,
I am back there.
Brothers I lost encircle me
Even jeer me.

My hands clench, blood drips
The flashbacks are nightmarish fragments
Stuck in my head, a flesh made prison
For meds that don’t work,
VA shrinks that work too much
These docs have clean hands
Never soiled by mud and blood.

Now in this studio box I rent
I watch the first snow fall to the street
While a moth-eaten blanket
Covers my legs but exposes my soul
To the never ending fight
Against enemies no one else can see

The muzzle of my one possession
Sits on my lap;
Its old grip worn and faded
Keeping it clean is a luxury
I can no longer afford.
Never been a coward
Never flinched until now.
Tomorrow not a blessing or a curse.
Tomorrow does not matter.
For I am one of the many forgotten.

Kristi Ivey