I am crying

A Poem
by a participant of Tameras online course Transform!

I am crying.

I am crying for my partner Robert, who went to war in Iraq.
A war I protested in Amsterdam, one of millions of people around the world asking for an end to violence.
I didn’t know Robert yet at the time. The war happened anyway.

I am crying for the people in Iraq that Robert

killed. I still remember one of his phone calls from his second tour. Normally we would talk about normal life. One day, as it was raining really hard in Salt Lake City (where I lived), I just held the phone out the window so he could listen to the sound of it.

This call was different.
Slowly I puzzled together that he had just shot a man. A man he didn’t know. A man who wouldn’t lower his weapon when asked to do so by 21-year old kid from a small town in Montana.

I am crying.
I am crying because all of a sudden the memories come flooding back to me. Of looking through the newspaper every day to see if Robert’s name was on the list of soldiers killed in action.
The relief I felt when his name wasn’t there.
The guilt of feeling relief, knowing that it was someone else that was mourning the loss of a beloved daughter, friend, father, partner.
And more tears keep coming.

For all the Iraqis who lost their lives. For all the Iraqis who lost their loved ones, their homes, and their dreams.
I am crying for the soldiers who came back to the United States… destroyed.
I see them every day on the streets, holding signs.
“Homeless Veteran. Hungry. God Bless.”

I am crying for some of Robert’s friends who couldn’t bear the pain anymore and took their own lives. Every 65 minutes a former soldier commits suicide in America.

I am crying as I let that sink in.

Then I remember something Robert said a few years ago, when he started studying to become a nurse: “I choose to dedicate my life to the healing of human beings.”
He looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes, and added: “It’s the only way.”

I am crying.
I am crying for the possibility of peace. For the return of hope.

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