Hasty to Condemn

by | Dec 23, 2010 | Poetry | 0 comments

Outside the shopping centre
He sheltered from the cold
The beggar asked for pennies
His face care-worn and old

Most people steered around him
Avoided him at best
They thought he was a rough one
“Don’t put him to the test”

But the beggar had a secret
Few people knew his past
No hint came from the beggar
Of that terrifying blast

This man had been a soldier
Who served his country well
His bravery and commitment
Would make a cold heart swell

In Iraq he fought Al Qaeda
Then came Afghanistan
But no-one saw the damage
Suffered by this man

The constant threat of violence
Gunfire, bombs and dirt
Left their scars inside him
Where no-one saw the hurt

His mind became a turmoil
It would not let him be
He was tortured by his visions
Brought on by P.T.S.D.

He had to leave the army
His “family” for so long
But rehabilitation
So very soon went wrong

No job, no home, no prospects
His bank account replete
This dedicated soldier
Was forced out on the street

We judge each other rashly
Decide on what we see
We never scratch the surface
Thus miss reality

This soldier–now a beggar
Had fought to give us hope
But now he was abandoned
Alone and left to cope

His story’s not a lone one
Many hundreds suffer too
From conflicts the world over
They fought for me and you


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