The Veteran

They said he has PTSD.

That his phantoms are fantasy.

But the leg they can’t see

Is lost in the war he fought for his country.

He put his weight on a plate, and poof.

Now he doesn’t even have a plate for his food.

An amputee, living on a stolen bag of weed.

A combination that spells catastrophe.

Got a gait like a cyborg,

A scavenger of the sidewalks.

He gets the shirks and the eyeballs.

They said “dude’s a fucking time bomb.”

So like his Dad,

he’s in a dilemma.

Neither can take this shit,

so he’s given himself an enema.

Went looking for his guts

Have you seen it, Ma?

I know you’ve been prayin hard

Hoping that he would measure up.

He’s looking for some change

But his pocket’s empty,

Could he afford it?

His lack of cents metaphoric.

Done laps tryna wrap his head round the logic.

Answers to his questions are whatchamacallit.

He has the propensity to act on impulse.

Has the power of thoughts

But he’s so high that he’s lost in these clouds.

He knows that to get even,

he has to beat the odds.

So he takes a breath so deep

that it goes right into his balls.

And as broke as he is,

he realises there’s no profit in panic.

And that between stimulation and response,

there’s a pause.

And where his imagination is his law.

Let it run wild, either choose to be

Poseidon, or a prawn.

And he knows in chaos, there’s order and clarity.

That it’s perfectly normal being an anomaly.

In the fog of war, there’s a silver lining.

As long as he maintains vigil,

keeping toothpicks under eyelids.

15 Jan 2023 Jon Lau

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