The Difficulty Of A Memory

One difficulty still haunting him
That time could not absolve
Was the invisible sense that would come over him
Deep in the night when suddenly, forced awake
From exhaustion, he’d remember the war

A village, a road, or maybe the place
Where a dead body lay
Its face upturned upon the earth denying
The existence of God and believing only
In its own heartless reality
While the world outside burned up

He’d held this image in line well enough
Through the years with the few rags of sanity
He could still count on, his mind confined
By the sound of a frightening purity
That the dead possess when doomed
To the hell they’ve known all along
Was waiting for them, an obscurely personal
Hell, singular and oddly familiar

He would see them as they were then
Laying there cold and composed, the power
Of death hovering stiffly over their bodies
With the flies and the stench of decay
Their hands nailed to the heavens empty

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Bill Peeler

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My wife, Noy and I are Protestant missionaries in Cambodia. We met in a border refugee camp in Thailand back in 1979 while I was a refugee relief worker. She was a refugee. I lived and worked in Mairut Refugee Camp for three years. We have three grown kids. I was drafted into the Army in 1969, served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and honorably discharged at the end of my military obligation. Writing prose and poetry is how I document the life I'm living and how I map out the mental landscape inside my head.
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J.rid
Member

With a sadness I read your poem, don’t get me wrong writing is good for the soul
they say, but some memories do not fade, you live life side by side with them
in a funny kind of harmoney.
I am glad you seem to have managed that and gone on to have a good life.
Keep writing

Randall Smith
Member

The dreams are never far from the surface. You think they are gone and then they come back to grab you
and return you to where they begin. I read this and I can feel the Delta and the paddies like yesterday.
This was powerful and very well done.

Preeti
Member

About those dark, deep memories that simply refuse to go away….Very moved!

wpDiscuz

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