Dennis Maulsby

EXCERPT FROM A VETERAN’S 9/11 LETTER

For years we old combat veterans
have felt our past fear, loss
and anger gnaw on us part of every day.
On-off raw images of tracer lit
ambushes, hollow crumpled bodies
and the ruins of smoked buildings.

Until September 11th, thought we were
the only possessed ones.

Didn’t want others to know these feelings.
How could they know?
Our collective centuries of service unable to protect them.
Lord, have all Americans become
traumatized vets?

Author’s Note: Previously posted on the Des Moines Register Community Poem page (December 2001)