What It Means to Be a Veteran: Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

by michael mcbride

Poem


Casualties

by Daniel Allen

Poem


Lorenzo

by Tanya Whitney

Prose


An Encounter at the VA Hospital

by John Swainston

Poem


I Dreamed

by William Snead

Poem


From Hopelessness to Dignity

by Nila Bartley

Poem


We Got Here About the Time God Left

By W. Joseph O'Connell, Army, Navy

Writing Type: Poem

By W. Joseph O'Connell

--Jarrell, TX


Space cowboys smoke turbos and mercs,

joints and cigarettes laced with crack cocaine,

all day and every day, amateur alchemy for the head.

 

Night cats and lizards prowl the immigrant projects.

The existing structure is a shell of its former self;

all the decent folks have moved away.

 

Murdered ghosts haunt the streets.

Chalk outlines washed away all that was left of them,

memories hidden under the ground.

 

Civilization is gone missing

amid blurred wings of confusion.

Penthouses tower like Goliath over the slums

 

Realizing we have all gone crazy,

living in custom-built homes that shield us from the decay,

going lousy for having it all.

 

Fresh money leads to the new part of town,

pockets of cold buildings with bizarre angles and no soul,

sanitized neighborhoods shaped modern and clean.

 

Regretful of the past, they made it shiny and new,

washed the old blood down into the storm drains,

muffled the cries of mourning widows and mothers.

 

Open the gates to the dead, new city.

Tear down the statues and start the second act;

burn all the books and turn yourself in.

 

Welcome to the madhouse.

Promises were made to be broken and we drink a whole lot

while camped around our television sets.

 

Free from the mental illness of society driving everyone nuts,

making a mess of everything with networks of technology,

pretending the worst part of everything is behind us.

 

Ignoring the fear that we might fuck it all up again,

detoxing ourselves from the old addictions,

wiping the slate clean from the mental illness of society.

 

Suddenly realizing the wandering God had wandered off,

got Himself stuck in the old, dirty part of town

where He keeps the lost souls from fixing everything.

 

One Young Soldier

by Jack Tompkins

sketch


What It Means to Be a Veteran: Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

by michael mcbride

Poem


Poppy array

by Penny Deere

Array


Casualties

by Daniel Allen

Poem


The Forgotten Terps

by Shon Pernice

Prose


What I Still Believe

by Nila Bartley

Poem