A man after the war

By Zachary Level Mustaine

Updated: 2009-09-26

  1. He lived to attend his oldest grandson's wedding
  2. each day more deliberate than the last
  3. gripping his cane like a subway rail
  4. He walked slowly and meticulously
  5. Avoiding sidewalk cracks
  6. And respiratory failure
  7. He slipped silently into the dark of a river
  8. Succumbing to the natural ebb and flow
  9. The tides of life and where they take you
  10. As if to say, “Let the wind take me, I don’t know where I’ll go”
  11. I watched as he read the paper,
  12. Fearing the mess he will not be able to protect
  13. To shield, from fires, and floods and decay
  14. His only voice, the systematic pumping of his heart
  15. The gravel grinding in the dry cobwebbed corridor of his neck
  16. His body had shrank to that of an infant
  17. I could carry him in my arms
  18. He gripped his sheets like he gripped his gun
  19. And these are the things that happen
  20. To old men, when they go to war