Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud
THOSE SCREAMING NIGHTS!
Those screaming nights, sweat soaked and shaking, wide eyed and staring refusing to speak of the horrors stalking that cause such painful shudders; oh, yes, I have seen them in the men of five generations from grandfather to nephews.
The frustrations and tensions of the refusal to share them with the women who love them and want; no need to help them, yet just cannot seem to reach the depths of darkness that surrounds them, we can only watch them suffer.
Whispered quiet in the morning after trying to erase the midnight shadows by allowing the morning sun to wake them, knowing well to never touch them while they are sleeping, and those who do not learn quickly to the distress of both.
Crying out names that are not familiar, run, duck, climb, fire, fire, fire, and then total sobbing reaching helplessly into nothing, trying so hard one more time to save that fallen buddy whose name they cannot bare to mention in daylight.
Time after time, night after night you hold them, or watch them pace the floor like caged tigers fearing sleep no matter how tired, dark eyed and restless snapping at those they love with any question, it’s nothing, just go back to sleep, just shut up.
How do you live through these years of torture, how do you watch without trying to comfort, how do you learn to not be angry, to scream along if only to relieve the pressure, and still you know how very much they need you.
Do I give up, walk away shrugging shoulders, do I say I tried but could not help him, hide my head as well as my emotions, leave him there to die each little death alone with no hand to hold for human warmth, to remind him he is worthy.
Oh, the hate that builds up in a woman’s spirit, to watch the wages of war paid by her children, to see them die inside day after day and no way to heal them, no, as much as she loves and accepts a woman does not understand defending a line in the dirt.
There is no forgiving the price paid in blood by humans, there is no forgetting the generations of men who live through it, a true brotherhood it builds lasting both life times and beyond, and the only part we share are those screaming nights of why?
©Copyright September 13, 2008 by Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud
Author’s Note: For my grandfather, father, uncles, brothers, nephews, and soon… grandsons…