Thurman P. Woodfork

THE PRETENDER

Thurman P. Woodfork: The PretenderProudly he sits,
this ersatz war vet
who never saw combat,
and yet…
he feels the need
to pretend
he was among
brave men
who served
this country in war…
What’s he longing for?

Why does he strive,
lie and connive…
to convince us
he saw… and lived
real war…
that dreadful
memories
still burn
in his craw?
That he saw life…
and death… basic,
brutal, and raw?
He weaves
heroic tales
filled with pain
and travail
to impress listeners
with his worth…
risking discovery
and scornful mirth
when he slips…
and shares
with someone
who was there.
His deceit revealed,
disgrace and disdain
fall like rain.
Mocking men rise
with contempt
in their eyes…
it burns like lye
and causes him
endless pain…
What a shame.
What will he do
with the medals
he never earned…
hide them away
for another day?
Spurned, will he
move to a place
he’s never been…
And wear them again?