His legs are hairless. He's the strongest man I know. Inside his mind he's 18 again, trapped in a constant battle against a now aged enemy. He's a father, grandfather even. He sits with his back to the exit, making sure he can protect us. He is haunted but proud. He came home on ships full of broken toy soldiers, wound tight and released into an unknown land. They returned him in less than pristine conditions, cracked and frayed from a war they did not ask for. His fears and dark thoughts settle in the lines in his face and on the thick skin on his fingertips. Pill after pill, meeting after meeting, he is tired. He wants to wash away the things he's seen that he cannot repeat out loud to us. "He stirs in his sleep." She says. Trouble and reoccurring demons fighting battles behind his restless eyelids. He fought for my future. He fought for my freedoms. He is my troubled soldier.
I wrote this about my grandfather who was in the Vietnam war. I'm not sure if I will ever show this to him but he himself writes poetry. He's struggled with ptsd since the day he came back, I'm too scared to ask him what haunts him.