As a psychiatrist, I did many evaluations on POW's returning from the Viet Nam war. Thinking about what they had faced and about our very young troops currently in Afghanistan who are asked to do the jobs of men while still boys in so many ways, the poem just seemed to arrive on its own.
Frank is a retired psychiatrist whose writings often portray the beauty and the pathos of the human condition. Over the last six years, more than 100 poems, essays and short stories have appeared online and/or in print. Recent efforts can be located in Lalitamba, Vox Poetica, Phenomenal Literature and The Penwood Review as well as Visions With Voices. He is always grateful when a piece strikes an emotional chord with a reader.
Afghanistanding, boys peer round the corners
of bombed out buildings, wondering
with sweats will they ever see Osama
in shackles and Iowa in autumn gold.
Words, just words, fly through young minds
like the girl and the kiss never
Sunni, Shia, Kabul, Helmand, opium.
Hang on to that automatic weapon!!
Back home we are packing boxes to send to
our sudden soldiers. We have been
told what they want: Pop Tarts and
playing cards, Fruit Roll-Ups, some
comic books. For us they give their
limbs, their lives. Lovely boys, I
remember when "soldier" was just a
game we played!