Thurman P. Woodfork


The years of self-medication
Haven’t erased a single scene;
Rifle fire and exploding mortars
Still echo through his dreams.

Shadows move in the darkness
Whenever his eyes are closed,
The remembered stench of
Violent death violates his nose.

He still sees Short Shot’s mouth
Stretched in the awful scream
That penetrated straight to his soul,
And froze his blood, it seemed.

Once again the slow pulsing
Of suppressed, smoldering rage
Simmers deep within him,
Coiled and waiting in its cage.

The years quietly creep on by;
His malaise has steadily grown,
While discontent keeps building,
Poisoning what peace he’s known.

Ghostly voices, whispering, seem
To plead, calling his name;
He feels the old twinges of guilt
Though he knows he can’t be blamed

For true friends who lie forever still,
While he sits cradling his drink.
He slowly lifts it to his lips
In a futile effort not to think.

“Rest in Peace,” he almost pleads
In a silent, heartfelt toast;
The bartender sighs and leaves him be,
To commune alone with his ghosts.

This poem prompted the response, “Ghostly Voices Whisper” – ©Copyright April 25, 2007 by Faye Sizemore