Thurman P. Woodfork

THE HOLD

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: September 14, 2005
Awarded: September 14, 2005
Caught in the coils of PTSD,
Secret thoughts clasped close to me
And locked forever deep inside;
Is it some special sort of pride?

I don’t think you can understand
What sears my being like a brand
Etched layers deep into my soul,
Put there by War’s red hot coals.

Lurid nightmares that end in tears
Conjured up from deep-seated fears
Living in memories decades old…
Haunting stories I have never told.

Dismaying, shifting changes of mood,
From laughter to a dark-hued brood,
Cause loved ones to shy away,
Uncertain how I’ll react today.

And many times I’ve stepped back
From that abyss, so deep and black,
To resume my life and carry on
Yet still wishing that I had gone

Down toward the beckoning release,
That enticing promise of Final Peace.
But something holds me in this life,
Despite the pain and internal strife.

It is the love that I can see
Deep in your eyes reaching out to me…
Embracing me with the eternal hope
That, if I can learn to really cope

With the demons that beleaguer me,
The day will come when we both are free
To bask in the warmth of our love’s sun
United together forever as one.