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Monday, February 16, 2009

Guest Blooger: A Poem on Coming Home

On the occasion of my grandson's return from Iraq, veteran Michael D. "Moon" Mullins sent this poem as a reminder that even when our soldiers return, they still need our support, love and understanding. That makes him our guest blogger for the day! (-:

He is Home

A crowd gathered on a Tuesday eve.
His group was due in and I was pleased.
There were family holding welcome signs.
His friends showed too, to my surprise.
There was quite a crew to see him home.
Even though the holiday found him alone.

Now, two weeks later, he is really home,
And the strain is seeping out of his bones.
The stress and strength are not demanded.
The lines in his face are etched, indented
In his furrowed brow, without his knowing.
The frown shrinks while his smile is growing.
His face is relaxing from the war’s demands.

His adrenalin is not being used just now.
He does not have a load dragging him down;
Lives in the balance, and equipment too.
He does not face the political strife in lieu
Of a grateful nation that will never know
All he and others do in war’s blood-red glow.
The lines are softening, his child inspires love
And his wife feels his pain, seeks his truth.
He is home in body, but there are things,
Like a mind, which comes home more slowly.
I take myself back forty years and wonder.
“Can people see the lightening in my brain;
The questions that roll like summer thunder?
Some missed me with all their hearts yet
Others would not have minded had I stayed.
Some I love only want to continue old fights.

Will some folks grant me a little space
So I can choose my own homeward pace?
Will they crowd in and steal my air, smother me
With love, not letting me open my eyes to see?
Most mean well, others think I was on a lark.
The things I saw came with me, remaining stark.
I cannot tell them; I do not want to hurt them.
I will try to smile, yet deep in me I am still grim.”

Does he feel what I felt and questioned?
I dare not ask, dare not make the suggestion.
He is home…with different things waiting.
I had nobody I hoped more than any other
Would understand, wanting only to be a lover.
But they sometimes put their own demands

Ahead of a soldier’s needs and their words
And deeds can wound deeper than bombs.

What is asked could wait but often will not.
He does not need pushed ahead of thought.
His mind is still reeling, sweltering in desert heat.
He needs time to crawl, get the dust off his feet.
I walked down that street toward home, quickly,
Yet faltering, anticipating yet dreading my own tears.
He may have that same fear coursing in his veins.
It takes time, and compassion, to let war drain.

The welcome home was wonderful, special.
There was pride, the shoulders square, elation.
The love in the room was there in equal portion.
The joy and tears flowed without any shame.
Our progeny, our spouses, our heroes, our hopes
Were home, safely stepping back into today, here.
After the hoopla was pushed out, their minds quiet
The fear, the doubt, the trepidation, again crept out.

The poet is Michael D. "Moon" Mullins, author of Vietnam in Verse, Poetry for Beer Drinkers, won the Gold Medal for poetry, 2007, from the Military Writers Society of America. The book is available on line from,, and It is also available as an audio-book from the author. Contact Michael at: mullins.m.1 @
He is a Vietnam Veteran, Delta 3/7, 199th Light Infantry, '68-'69 and Vice President of the Military Writers Society of America

Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence. Find it at

1 comment:

Yvonne Perry said...

I am looking for people in the military or who were raised in a military family to take a survey at . The results will be used in a book I am co-authoring with Angela Grett. Names of those who take the survey will remain anonymous. Thank you for helping us.

Yvonne Perry