by Aaron Smith
Far from the first thought when I look at this picture of me;
Full of hate
Full of rage
Full of murder
I believe that warriors
Either become the
Or allow it to forge them
Into something stronger.
I laid my life on the anvil of Hate
And for a time
I became the instrument of destruction that I had to be.
I look at that picture of me
And I am proud to have been that man-
And I am sad to have been that man
The dichotomy of a warrior
Is to excel at your craft
But to lose pieces of your humanity.
I have danced with the demons of Suicide,
Not for my own sins,
But for the emptiness that comes from such heaviness-
If you know that heaviness, you know
That it doesn’t just go away;
It pulls at you, like a dead weight
Dragging you to the bottom of the pool.
I know that you hear me
This message is for you…
Today, I thought about ending it all
Maybe in a quiet place,
In the forest where it wouldn’t really bother anyone
Well, I’m just so tired
I wish I could just sleep for days
You know what I mean,
I’m still here.
I had to remember that I owe it to them
Living is the ultimate trophy-
We didn’t go to war to lose, did we?
What would our teammates say if they knew how we were struggling?
“Live for me, brother”
“I promise you, it’s worth it”
So I’ll live again tomorrow
I’ll pick up the pieces,
Remember my friends, who I miss so very much
I remember that that same fire in those War Eyes
Can give me the spark to live well
For those who gave
So that I can.
Live with me, my friends.
I promise, I’ll be here with you,
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on August 5, 2020.