Agent Orange, since the day I was born.
It has marred my very existence.
I have carried it with me like stones in a knapsack.
When kids teased me,
When my Dad became ill,
When my Brother felt alone,
When my Mother became a widow,
I added new, heavier stones to my knapsack.
It's been an extremely heavy burden to carry.
However, I have carried it.
I have known great joy along with my suffering,
In these moments,
I had a chance to lay down some of the stones from my knapsack.
My knapsack is tattered and tired,
But I still carry my unfortunate burden of Agent Orange.
The stones are still heavy,
But my back has grown stronger not weaker.
I carry heavy stones,
A stone for my Mother,
A stone for my Brother,
A stone for Grandchildren, who will never know the love of my Father,
A stone for the Vietnam veterans,
A stone for their spouses,
A stone for their sons and daughters.
I believe my knapsack is heavier now than it ever has been,
But that's okay because it's my knapsack, I'm strong, it's familiar.
I add to my weight, the innocent of Vietnam,
For the ones who are like me, and the ones who are lost within a prison of broken mind.
They carry a stone filled knapsack and their stones are heavy.
Their stones include;
Poor health care,
and so much more.
Their suffering is worse then many,
But we all do suffer without a second thought by those who cause our pain.
I reel under the weight of my knapsack.
It's filled to the top with burdens almost too great to bear,
But I will continue to carry it with the help of my peers across the world.
It is okay,
I carry heavy stones.
I am the Daughter of a Vietnam veteran.
July 9, 2011
My country continues to ignore our plight. My Father's claim goes untouched in a filing cabinet in Philadelphia, PA, new widows grieve...Children in Vietnam die, Monsanto reaps in profits, and more men are listed as terminal. Today is just another day in the life of someone touched by chemical warfare.
ShareHeather A. Bowser, LPCC