Robin Amy Bass


Missing in Action, Prisoner of War
These kinds of words, hard to ignore.
Told by advisors that it’s you and not me:
Shaking their heads, they just don’t see.

When you go missing – or underground;
Bury what’s hurting under the ground,
Part of me feels it – phantom the pain;
No need to tell me it’s not the same.

Never saw action – never saw war,
Never had soldiers break down my door.
And I can muster a smile, which is fake,
Scared what I say might be a mistake.

Think to myself – he will not see me cry.
And as you talk – all my words seem to fly.

I see the look that haunts you inside
Certain confusions that still haven’t died
Transfusion of love – illusions and lies!

When you explain it – at least now you try;
Give me a story; tell me a why

I see the look – it’s hollow and pure.
I don’t have words and I don’t have a cure.
I wish I did have an answer for you.
I wish to God I had been there for you

All of your demons, they line up like ducks
Sometimes I watch – as you run out of luck
Rows and rows, I watch how they sit
Know in my heart that they never will quit

Try to convince you – this feeling won’t last
Listen as you tell of how the die was cast

I know a lot that you did was your choice
I see how long you have buried your voice
Now you are talking – the silence is done
Losses seem larger then what you have won

Still in my eyes – you’re a hero and more
Did what you had to without keeping score
There for your brothers – and country too
I wish to God this was something I knew

Earlier on – when we just had met
You say it’s something you’d rather forget
And so you hid it – well now it’s come back
Some times it calls you; a strange late-night snack

Sometimes, it appears in the late afternoon
Never know when, and it changes its tune
Stories emerge – some of them mortify
And like I said – you don’t have to say why

I see that look – as you pack up and leave
I see that look and I know I should grieve
For the all the parts that they’ve stolen from me
They harbor you and so neither one of us are free

You’re still a prisoner of what went before
Part of you captured – though you came back from war.
Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful you’re here
My only thought – is to try and stay near

Bring you some comfort – help you forget?
No – If you remember and choose to connect
That is your choice and it’s one I respect
Good and the bad – all your blues eye reflect
If it’s your choice – I’ll help find your voice
And listen to all that you say – help us find a way!

I will absorb all I can like a sponge,
Stomp out those demons with a stab or a lunge
Slap at the horror that flies through the air
It might make you laugh – and get rid of that stare

Vacant and haunting spirits that hover above and about
I’m not a soldier – but figure it out
I just a woman in love with a man
I guess my mission – to do what I can

I see the look as I pack up and leave
It doesn’t end – you may try to deceive
Hide from the torture – hide from the pain
There isn’t one thing you have to explain

Unless you want to – that is the deal
Because I love you – this will be real
All that has happened; it wasn’t planned
All that I want – as I hold out my hand

Is to bring comfort and love to your door
Let me inside – and I promise there’s more
Prisoners Of War – missing in action – only describes
How I feel in a fraction

Missing in Action – Look what I’ve found
And so if you let me – I’m sticking around
You are the reason I’m breathing today
I guess I’m a prisoner who can’t run away

You have your stories and I have mine
I didn’t plan it – but they intertwine
You do what you have to – I guess so do I
So please do not ask me – I can’t tell you why

All of my reasons come down to one voice
I know that I love you and this is my choice!

Author’s Note: My boyfriend served in Vietnam – and for many years was not able to talk about it! In fact, I only recently found out that he was a Marine. He suffers from PTSD. I am extremely proud of him, and love him very much. He keeps so much inside! I wrote this for him in July 2004. It is about how he kept everything inside for 20 years – He never told anyone about Vietnam. Even now, though he is talking about it, he is still struggling. And I feel it too.