BEGGAR

 

Baffling how I came to be a pauper, he thought,
An ex-serviceman, me, still with an upright back.
Thing is: I never really arrived home. Did I?.
Not a real home. Everything had changed.
Belfast, The Falklands, Belize, Operation Desert Storm
Are with me every day.

Like many men who wore the uniform he's reluctant to see a doctor
“I’ll be reet” he says, “after a bit.”
Where he served there were No-go, No-Irish, No-squaddies areas
The Falls, Free Derry, Shankhill, South Armagh, Newry
Where the owner of the Armalite, the gun, was the only power, yer only man,

The Sally army bloke tells him now: “Yeah, a room, y’know, a home, your only real security.”
‘Doesn’t know me name,’ he thinks, ‘fuck him’.
In his head he’s already out on the street again
Not stuck in a room that drains the life out of him.

And anyway, she moved out decades ago,
Wanted to settle down, build up some memories.
He wished he could escape from his memories.
PTSD the nurse had said. Don’t know what that is.

The images he has in his head, are still massively aflame .
And yeah a few years earlier he was a hero
But now, he was told by the bloke from the Legion,
That he needs to be careful; blokes being done for obeying orders

Decades ago are now being put on trial for using a gun..
Plenty of unknown soldiers he thinks, like me,
Some take to the drink, others take their own lives.
His brain is a- flame with all he knows,

He has layers over his heart, like blankets.
Down there, inside, down there, there are levels too,
Levels of pain ,levels of memory too,
Like the medals he once wore,
Sold, given away, lost, stolen.
Gone.

 

 

◄ Fear in a handful of dust

Inside Out ►

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