THE OLD SOLDIER
by Lin Floyd
He sits quietly, won’t talk about the war.
Memories too raw to reveal even after decades.
We ignore grandpa, reading quietly in his chair.
Forgotten he is and remains until the day,
we ask questions about the conflict for his bio.
Suddenly he returns, recalls forgotten details.
Those days of long ago: sleeping in trenches,
eating spoiled K-rations, watching friends die,
killing young Japanese soldiers––just boys,
hating an unknown attacking enemy.
War is never pleasant to remember, difficult
to forget as dreams and memories linger on.
Now we understand his quietness, withdrawn
within to heal from wounds of body and spirit.
An old soldier rests from battles that continue.