A Soldier On Leave

A tulip, red and white, like your flag, your home.

I pin it carefully to your well worn jacket, as if

Pinning a medal on a heroic soldier who showed

Such great valor and bravery. You did, in a different

Kind of battle, a different kind of war.


You kiss my cheek, and curl your fingers in my hair.

An armistice has been reached, and tonight, right now

The cannons of demons, the mines of intrusive thoughts,

the napalm raids compulsion and vicious thoughts,

are stilled, and you are just a young woman, in love.


We walk hand in hand under garish neon, rich smells

Of food stalls, the loud noises of traffic and music,

And the rumble of commuter trains, just enjoying

This each other’s company, a soldier on leave

That the meds and love can only keep you for so long.


The war never ends. It all fades for a few moments.

A few days, a night or two. The war goes on and on.

But you fight on, and I hold you near and wash the blood

Of your broken thoughts with my tears, and soothe with

The softest of kisses, until you can return on leave again.


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