Monday, March 7, 2016


image from


"Some wounds run too deep for
the healing."--J.K. Rowling

I've been retired
for seven years,
so I don't drive
the thirty miles over
to the VA Hospital
much anymore;

but today
I drove a friend
to his appointment
and sat grin-less
midst a human sea
of shattered souls--
reopening my
broken heart.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille 4


katy said...

This is so powerful, Glenn. That sounds like a weak comment, but I mean simply that it touched me very deeply. These are the unspeakable pains, the wounds that are too deep to ever heal. The ones we stick cotton and earbuds in. It's why I only write ridiculous nonsense poetry; if I were to write about the real stuff that I feel, I would crumble, and be unable to function in the body; and we cannot have that, now can we?

Gayle Walters Rose said...

My heart has always held a special place for our wounded and sick veterans. They should have the ultimate of care with the greatest compassion administered. Touched me deeply too.

De Jackson said...

Oh, Glenn. This is so well done. That hyphen in "grin-less" also speaks to how veterans - or any humans, for that matter - are often made to feel like "less."

My father served. My brother serves now (a lifer). THANK YOU to both you and your friend, for your service.

De Jackson said...

I'm also reminded by yours how very close the words "grin" and "grim" are.

vivinfrance said...

Thought-provoking. And I'm not grinning.

brudberg said...

Oh this is so well penned Glenn. The tragedy of sitting there... Yes grim

Unknown said...

Wow! Your use of the prompt word in the negative was powerful. Our freedom comes/came at a cost, and we're far too willing to forget that.

Grace said...

Your post touched me greatly Glenn ~ So much sadness in the waiting halls of the hospital ~

Mary said...

Very sad really, but I have often thought the same when I have sat in some waiting rooms & looked around. Makes one glad one doesn't have to visit all that often.

Carol Campbell said...

I can see why you'd be grinless but when you look in the mirror give yourself a little grin for being such a good friend!

Anonymous said...

War veterans serve and then get kicked in the teeth. The world over. It's not right.

Victoria said...

If I had my nursing career to live over, I would want to care for our Vets--but I'd probably lose my job if I spoke up about what's happening or stroke out over it! Too sad.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Beautifully moving.

kaykuala said...

Such a poignant take Glenn! One can feel the helplessness or even the sense of abandonment these brave folks face. They can do nothing then or even so now. But those who wielded the power that sent them to be maimed are still savoring their sense of 'achievement' in pummeling the down-trodden.


Katie Mia Frederick said...

Oh.. the sword..
oh the empty
steel becomes
blood instead
of Love..
or now..
Wars Lose...