I move among the people eyes down
Carrying no visible scars for proof
Merely returned, blending into mediocrity.
I know how I remained secure while
Speaking to those playing roulette
On horrid, unforgiving Afghan ground.
I heard their destruction
Radios blaring anguished news,
Soldiers shouting, calling for back up.
I imagined their terror then,
Now see their scars in altered bodies
The pink, raw, crumpled
Freakish folds of repaired skin.
I see the surgeons’ work
The politicians’ choice
The people’s lot.
I stand in the shower physically whole
Touching what they have lost
Yet cannot touch what I have lost
Not knowing exactly what it is or where it was,
I move among the people eyes down.
James Jeffrey was an officer in The Queens Royal Lancers regiment of the British Army. He is now a journalism graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.