Arvilla Fee: The Ballad of Returning Soldiers

Arvilla Fee

The Ballad of Returning Soldiers

If you look into my eyes
you might see a shade of blue;
I hope you notice in your hurry
that I still shed tears too.

Just because I’ve fought in wars
doesn’t mean I’m granted grace;
turns out when they send you home
you can lose your safest space.

Dead men often come a-knocking,
pounding on the door of dreams;
when I’m face-down on the hardwood,
I can hear their fetid screams.

I know you probably look at me,
a grizzly man with cardboard sign
and entertain a fleeting thought
before I vanish from your mind.

I truly cannot cast the blame,
for I was once like you,
things to do, things to see;
the day was mine to choose.

I guess the hardest part of all
is knowing I’m still here
while all others have forgotten
as though I have disappeared.


Arvilla Fee teaches English and is the managing editor for the San Antonio Review. She has published poetry, photography, and short stories in numerous presses, including Calliope, North of Oxford, Rat’s Ass Review, Mudlark, and many others. Her poetry books, The Human Side and This is Life, are available on Amazon. Arvilla loves writing, photography and traveling, and she never leaves home without a snack and water (just in case of an apocalypse). For Arvilla, writing produces the greatest joy when it connects us to each other. To learn more about her work, you can visit her website: https://soulpoetry7.com/

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