Robin Amy Bass

MISSING AGAIN

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: November 25, 2005
Awarded: November 25, 2005
You went missing last night,
As we spoke on the phone
And your words trailed away
And you left me alone

As your mind wandered back
To the days of the fight
When I asked “Something wrong?”
You said, “No I’m all right.”

In that tone of your voice
Now familiar to me
When you try to pretend,
But you’re gone and I see

You’ve gone back to your men
Try and keep them alive
You go missing to find them
In the hopes they’ll survive

You went missing last week
At the party she gave
It’s a set-back you say
It’s no way to behave

But the yard was deserted
As you went for a smoke
You’re in enemy camp
As the trees play a joke

And their branches bend down
They are calling your name
And you hear the twigs snap
As your eyes, start to frame

How they sway in the breeze
Of a dark autumn night
And you try to hold on
As you look left to right

“The smell of the trees,
Was the trigger,” you sigh
And you searched for your knife
Now, you cannot say why

You went back when you did
It’s so hard to admit
That your demons returned
That you’d just like to quit

You went missing again,
Though you stood in plain sight
You say nobody knew it,
As the day turned tonight

You stood quietly searching
For the glint of a gun
While the charcoal was burning
And the others had fun…

You went missing again
though you say, it was brief
Just a short episode,
you admit, with relief

But the cycle of pain, will be back
We both know
I have seen it up close
And I can’t make it go

With my words filled with comfort
Or my impatient rage,
Or my poetic rhymes
that could fill up a page

I’m no match for this illness
For the damn PTSD
That comes gunning for you
That keeps taking from me

So I savor the time,
you return to my side
And we both minimize
all the times we have cried.

You went missing last night,
But this morning you’re near.
So I just grab your hand,
‘Cause for now, you are here.