The Only One: A Poem Dedicated to Homeless Veterans
Am I the only one who notices your eyes
Cracked open by the war?
Young against the pain
Spilled out with the grief
Dried up in the coming home
Dropped to the ground
And forgotten by everyone—but me.
Your eyes are green.
Am I the only one who notices your hands
Chilled with the homeless nights,
Blistered from the trigger,
Calloused in those lifetime years,
Shaking with your hunger,
Balled into your pockets,
And empty without a friend’s hand?
You don’t have a wedding band.
Am I the only one who notices your jaw
Clenched without a smile?
Shadowed by the poverty
Scarred where battle broke it
Knotted with locked tears
Trembling with misplaced adrenaline
And silent with burning stories no one would give time to.
But I would spend my life listening to you.
Even if I am the only one who sees,
I’m here, and I won’t ever leave.
Even if I am the only one who ever stops to shake your hand,
I’ll be your home and your relief.
Even if I am the only one who listens,
I could never forget all that you gave for me.
By Clare Therese