Eye On Life Magazine

Lifestyle * Literary

Eye on Life Magazine is a Lifestyle and Literary Magazine.  Enjoy articles on gardening, kitchen cooking, poetry, vintage decor, and more.

PTSD


In the waiting room, I squeeze 
this old rosary a nun gave me 
the day I got back from Iraq.
 
I was still in a daze on a gurney
and I still had sand in my hair.
Some of it remains, no matter 
 
how many showers I take. 
Sand from Iraq lingers, I’m told,
until you go bald, and then
 
you are able to concentrate
on other things.
What might they be, I wonder.
 
But today, in this waiting room,
I squeeze the rosary tighter  
when I hear, louder than 
 
the gunshots crackling in my dreams, 
the real screams of that little boy 
right over there, the one who’s 
 
rapped his elbow off the radiator.
Lord, listen to him scream! 
Each week he comes with his mother 
 
for her follow-up appointment. 
He sounds like the jet 
that takes me back at night
 
to that little village in Iraq
where the sand puffs up  
in mushroom clouds
 
above the bullets
as the children scream 
in their hovels louder 
 
than that little boy  
screaming over there.
Maybe everyone 
 
in this waiting room
listening to him scream  
can come with me now 
 
to that village in Iraq.
Sitting here, I know 
that boy’s pain so well 
 
that in my fist 
this rosary no longer
knows my prayers. 
 
 
Donal Mahoney