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Veterans Hospital

[1]84 words

Some nights are never-ending hells
for these old veterans in our care.
We do not hand out pills, but shells,
as out of battlefields they stare
from over sixty years ago
on far-off Guam or Guadalcanal.
With trembling hands they try to show
how the bravest or youngest fell.
We console them with a cold cup,
and a tender tap on the shoulder.
What haunts them, though, will not give up,
nor the fallen boys grow older.

From Tikkun Olam and Other Poems [2]