Robert A. Brown

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: November 22, 2008
Awarded: November 22, 2008

He was a quiet man
Can’t remember him raising his voice,
He took what life gave him
Rarely having a choice.

He loved Mama dearly
Long before they were wed,
As a child I didn’t give it a thought
Why he slept in a separate bed.

He talked little of war
And when he did he would say,
That my two sons never go to war
This I hope and pray.

France, Belgium and Luxembourg
Was the little that was said,
The Ardennes, the Rhineland
And the shrapnel wound to his head.

As a child I never heard
Of the night mares and sweat soaked bed,
The beating of my mother
These are what they dread.

After Vietnam a long, long time had passed
Not till years after both my parents had died,
I woke to my wife calling my name
I then broke down and cried.

I woke from my nightmare
Hands around her throat,
From my enemy
His life I would choke.

I told her of the life
That my parents had lead,
But to this day she remains beside me
Holding my hand and sleeping in my bed.

Author’s Note: Dedicated to my parents who enjoyed both the good and bad side by side for almost 51 years and to my third wife, who, despite my living in a cave, has stood beside me these past 16 years.