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A VETERAN'S CHILD

 

A veteran's child is conceived in love,

Then raised on anger, shouting and abuse.

Fed with bitterness and loads of frustration,

And grows up feeling really hurt and confused.

 

The love is always present right from the start,

But so often it's hidden behind all the rest.

Sometimes it finds it's way to the surface,

But then just as quickly it's being suppressed.

 

The anger and abuse is meant for the country he loved,

That sent him far away to fight that television war.

Then brought him home a totally different person,

And said "We don't want to know you any more."

 

The bitterness is aimed not at the child but "The System."

That fed him bullshit and platitudes all through the years.

Who told him it wasn't the memories or the chemicals,

They were normal and harmless, so just hide all the fears.

 

The frustration is caused by his continuing attempts,

To forget he was ever in that place called Vietnam.

Or to tell those around him what it was really like,

And "The System", well it just doesn't give a damn.

 

The hurt stems from wanting so much to be loved,

To be held real close and make the tears go away.

And be shown the feelings that others around them feel,

Not living in fear of their dad's moods every day.

 

The confusion arises from the turns and the twists,

Every new day of their lives seems to bring.

Sometimes it seems peace has settled round them at last,

Then dad strikes out in rage over some little thing.

 

It's not really meant for those deep down he loves,

But after all the years of drinking and the pills,

They are closest to him, and become "The System",

And they are forced to bear all his wrath and his ills.

 

A veteran's child is conceived in love,

And somewhere within him that love will always wait.

Where it's standing in line behind all the hurtful things,

But will it reach the front of that line before it's too late?

 

Copyright - John Casey - 5 June 1995