To Hell and Back

by | Oct 6, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

Woken by the sound of the phone ringing
A mother answers with a heavy heart
The call she’s been dreading since her son’s tour began
Has now come to tear her world apart

Her soldier, her hero, her darling son
Now lies in a hospital bed
Hooked up to monitors for he’s barely alive
This vision now burned in her head

Her questions begin now in earnest
Will he pull through his ordeal?
Will he be able to live again?
Will he be able to feel?

Each day she sits by his bed and waits
For a flicker of life from his eyes
Tired and exhausted she returns home at night
Then just sits on the sofa and cries

Though his brain had been damaged
From a mortar attack
She knows he will fight it
She knows he’ll come back

Slowly and steadily month by month
Small improvements she begins to see
She knows he can hear her so she softly says
“Come on son, come back to me”

For now her world has stopped turning
Her life momentarily on hold
Yet people around show her no sympathy
How can they be so cold?

They do not have to pick up the pieces
Of a young life that’s been torn to a shred
For her son now is woken by nightmares
Whilst these bigots sleep soundly in bed

Constant flashbacks of that very moment
When his life passed before his eyes
Now she must listen as he screams in the night
And feels the fear he felt when he cries

People she thought were her colleagues and friends
Their words now cut like a knife
As she listens to them disrespect her son
For almost losing his life

“What did you expect?” they say
“He chose to go to war”
“If he put himself in the line of fire”
He should have expected nothing more”

She longs to berate those people
Who voice such bitterness and hate
But for the pride she has for her son she stays silent
And prays that life will determine their fate

This brave soldier is a hero
He deserves to be cut some slack
Show him the respect he’s duly earned
For he’s been to hell and back!


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