Returning from the war I locked away my gun
put away my uniform and that part of me
I was already damaged and not quite whole
thrown back into the world with bleak uncertainty
doubt funnels through my brain like a sieve
while I sit on a slab of ebbing confusing emotions
a large oscillating wave of self-doubt pressing against me
it never leaves me even when I pretend to sleep
I feel it’s weight upon me even now as I try to speak
a cell-block encasing my heart even though I try to break free
I ask my maker every day, what will become of me?

© Rebecca Sanchez 2018

The prompt was weapon and I could have added it to the poem but this (fantasy) soldier is a weapon himself, taught to both use and become a weapon. Once home, our soldiers find it hard to turn off these learned behaviors and stop the bad memories from returning home with them.

Deactivate-remove from active duty in the military.

I used the animated GIF to write my poem and found it during a Google image search.

Written with my friends at Poets United.


18 thoughts on “Deactivated

  1. You can take the soldier out of the war. Much harder to remove the war from the soldier. I feel so sad for young men , thrown into hell, and expected to return to normal afterwards. Not possible. Well written poem, Bekkie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Servicemen and women are ‘cannon fodder’
    and it took time to understand that the trauma associated with active service was a genuine illness as lives were expendable, deaths were a calculated risk despite the consequences to the families left behind. Only slowly has the problem been addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember one of MLK’s last speeches when he rued trying to teach non-violence when the gov’t taught violence so thoroughly–turning young men (then it was men) into weapons. The contradictions are numbing. Your poem truly captures that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your words, though imagined, are strong of truth Bekkie.
    So many men who serve their country are abandoned once home, by the same country they served. And those with a heart certainly return damaged.
    Wilfred Owen is a wonderful poet and his words his knowing, lets us know and hopefully understand…
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your imagination has served you well in the writing of this poem. There are too many broken (mostly) men wandering around wondering what will become of them, now that they are no longer engaged in combat.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How I wish this whole planet was a war free zone. It’s difficult for a soldier (fortunate to return home) to erase ‘bad memories’ because he’s a human. No wonder Wilfred Owen, the soldier poet wrote so much against war and its machinery.

    Liked by 1 person

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