We Were Little

Brain Injury Blog by Matthew Brown

September 21, 2012

Memories and the wounds of war





We were little
Young children
No more than eight 

Running around with sticks
Playing an innocent game
A game called 

In ten years
Our little game turned
Into reality
Our sticks
Turned to guns   
Our jeans and t-shirts               
Traded in for cammo 
Our dirty beat up play shoes
Morphed into lace-up combat boots

No more playing dead
This game is for keeps  
No more childish laughter
No more racing around in spirited fun 
No arguing that I shot you
Now we run till we hurt
Literally running for our lives

Knowing if we are shot now
There’s no time-outs given
No safe places
We still have bases
But they can be a false umbrella of safety
No make-believe shields there

We were only kids
Without a care
But the weight of the world
Crushes down on us now
What I would give
To be little again!

Recommended Reading

You can read more about Matt Brown’s combat experience in his chapter in The Triumph Book: Heroes 

3 responses to “We Were Little”

  1. Marilyn Lash says:

    I was at the Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s conference last week where I met another vet who is now writing poetry to deal with the memories and emotions that have followed him home from the war in Afghanistan. Like you, he never wrote poetry before but it has become an important vehicle for his thoughts and feelings.

  2. Janet Cromer says:

    Thank you for your powerful poem, Matt. I read the poem several times and felt a different emotional impact each time. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

  3. Marilyn Lash says:

    This poem gave me shivers when I first read it and it continues to touch me every time I read it. – Marilyn Lash

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