Author's Note: I've been in the military, served during a war, but never on the front lines, though friends of mine did. Nobody comes home without scars. My current work as a Psych Nurse Practioner in a jail puts me in frequent contact with people whose invisible wounds still bleed, but nobody wants to talk about it. Therefore, this poem.
at work we never talk of war
there is so much happening every minute of every day someone having a crisis or causing a catastrophe the radio shouts at us "mental health, call quad C" "mental health, i have one threatening to kill himself" "mental health... mental health..." i don't dare announce that i'm on my lunch break because that would be callous, so i respond while my lunch cools thinking that even if it costs my employers an extra hour of time it has to be done, food can wait we chart mostly in silence until i can't handle the quiet and dial up some blues on youtube anything to keep me from getting too wrapped up in solving problems— that would come at my own expense the final minutes of the day slip by and the time clock chimes as i swipe my badge to prove i was there only when i am outside again and the blue sky over yellow anything pulls me back to ukraine's fields news updating by the minute it seems convoys and sanctions and SWIFT and EU and NATO and Switzerland breaking its neutrality it's all right there in my face, in my ears, in my thoughts, my heart but at work we never talk of war— too many broken minds to try and save
©2022 Jim Lewis
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