I started writing this poem years ago, but left it half written and couldn’t bring myself to finish it, mostly because I didn’t know how it was going to end. Today I did…

Sitting here in this airport just look at me,
In a wheelchair bandaged I can hardly see;
My long journey home I travel reluctantly,
All the pain and anger I could not foresee.

Coming home from war to a sideways glance,
My damaged life is now left to chance;
When demons come to quench my breath,
To entice me into a rendezvous with death.

Each night remains the same for me,
Empty darkness of wartime memory;
Jumping off into the black abyss,
My weapon is sighted so I won’t miss.

How long must I lay in misery,
A life not worth living is all I see;
Thoughts of death run wildly through my head,
Replete with epitaphs written after I am dead.

No fateful courage could I decree,
To end a life of tortured uncertainty;
On my wandered course a decision to make,
Life’s anguish forever or my own life to take.

Thoughts come rapping upon my mind,
I shun them gruffly but I still am blind;
The misery surrounding me I choose to feel,
And avoid the process that will help me heal.

Death will relieve not the pains of life,
Nor drink nor drug will loose the strife;
Only when I do choose to seek now to be free,
Will peace in my life come and settle upon me.

2 thoughts on “Home

Add yours

  1. I love how the author Jackie Hemingway leads us on an unsteady and emotionally wrought path through a fallen soldier’s determined course through stages of depression, anger and defeat. Finally, resisting the impulse to plummet into the depths of a finite life, Hemingway finds her way out of the murky, deep waters of suicidal tendencies and into the luminous rays of hope and redemption.


    1. Fiona, thank you for your powerful and thoughtful response. It brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for allowing yourself to probe the depths of my poem and allow yourself a glimpse into the meaning of this as it comes to you. Thank you my dear friend…


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