In warmth of afternoon sun, Megan is
Solider home from Afghanistan, petite,
War-wounded, concealing flesh, personal
Scars. Silence breaking, her first words
Were, “I’m afraid to look.” Not of dying
Or of living, but what months could not
Promise: healing flesh and bone. Left
Humerus shattered, bone-metal fused,
Surgical scars, cold sensitive, left thigh
Scattered with shrapnel scars, truck driver,
Explosion, she survived where others died,
Helmet and body armor life-saving.
Now home, Megan is on disability, daytime
Job, sparse apartment, used vehicle, medical
Care and counseling. Yet, months of her life
Were missing, hospital stays, no normalcy
Whilst facing struggles with herself, who
And what she had become, before and
After, stoic and withdrawn. What could
I or anyone do for her? Care enough to
Stay the night, through starling nightmares,
Help her stop dwelling on summer beach
volleyball photos, when her left arm was
Pain-free, muscular, and intact.
In light of afternoon sun, Megan removed
Compression bandage supporting her left
Arm, disfigurement unveiled, scars and
Suture-marks, months of physical therapy,
Curling 10-pound weights, swimming,
Running-arm movements, simple things
Taken for granted, once impossible and
Painful tasks. Turning her arm towards
Sunlight, Megan said, “This is me.” Deep
breath. “I miss sea and sand,” she confided.
“Will you walk with me on winter beach?”
Scarf and sweater her body armor.
Poem about wounded military women, still
struggling with injuries, physical and emotional.