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"Not The Same Inside" by Joe DiMino

Hi God, it’s me again—
Sorry to be a pest,
Certain I’m not
Your best:
Forgive my tears
But you see, I’m only seven,
And have just been told
My friend, Johnny, who was eleven
Is now up there with you—
I guess heaven needed him for something…
But he had so much here
On earth he wanted to do—
When we grew up
Sail around the world together,
Shipmates forever…

And now—well…

Hi, it’s me again, off to war;
Not certain what I’m fighting for:
Oh for God, that’s You, and country
I’ve been told; to keep our nation free
From all sorts of real
And, perhaps, some imagined tyranny—

But, you see, my wife is with child,

Seven months along—

It’s our first—
And not being here to see him
Or her born, not being here to support
And comfort my wife
Makes the prospect of dying
Seem all the worse…

Hi God, it’s you know who;
Thanks for getting me through
All of that;
Grateful to be alive
When so many others, far closer to you
I’m sure, will never see
Their first-born
And cherished wife—
Never return to a private life as I

For they did not survive.

I’m not the same you know…
War has changed me
Dramatically inside;

A lot of scars
From my wife
And new child
I will always hide;

Not that I want them shutout
And kept a distant, but it’s impossible
To confide
What I myself fail to entirely
Understand: when it comes
To life and death (of less value or more worth):
Why someone arms length from me,
With also a loving family back home….
—I held his guts in
Trying to keep them
From the ground,
But he, as so many honorable others
Are no longer around—

Are my hands indelible with blood?
To this day I cannot in my soul
Comfortably abide—how on earth
Or heaven
Or anyplace else
Do you decide?

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