This Poem was Submitted By: G. Donald Cribbs On Date: 2006-08-21 20:31:42 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!
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Copyright © August 2006 G. Donald Cribbs
A Round of Poetry
Ten years before I was born, my father went to Vietnam
to fuel airplanes against the DRV and polish his pinochle
playing. Later, he relived his “glory days” by melding
at dinner parties, the trick-taking before the onset of PTSD
frightened friends away. He beat his wives. He beat his
children. Nothing took the sounds, the smells, word of his
friends dying, away. He sat before reams of paper, pencils
sharpened spears beside him, unable to compose a single word.
After college, I went to China, teaching English to college
students in Henan, rather than journeying farther south
where the sounds of cards shuffling deadened my father’s
senses in Vietnam. Now I sit before paper or sometimes
a keyboard, unable to meld a thought or a phrase into poetry.
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2006-08-26 10:33:24
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.81818
An interesting take on the two worlds you lived in. Your father's PTSD certainly was and is the bane of many servicemen who saw hell.
I love the line about melding. Brilliant! I guess one can say that you both made circles towards the same ending. You are a survivor.
unable to meld a thought or a phrase into poetry.
You were not "unable" here !
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2006-08-24 13:01:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.94444
Donald--This is a telling play on words (title and poker). This in my
opinion is a somber write referencing the traumatic experiences of both
paternal (Vietnam war) and progeny (abuses/China) that left them incap-
able of returning to normacy. Historically, the effects of horrifics on
ones inability to perform nicities of civilization are well documented.
Hopefully, penning of this gutwrenching work and with the aide of coun-
seling it will be cathartic and provide respite from haunting life events
which have scarred these two. An evoking dark offering, although, well
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2006-08-22 07:15:53
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Donald...this is an excellent poem which just overwhelms me. My husband was wounded twice in Korea and I have a grandson who served a year in Iraq. I know my husband must have suffered from PTSD but no one knew what to call back then. Some say my grandson is depressed but I am sure he suffers the same malady. You have written this very well....you tell a story about your father that gives this reader the tools to peer in between the lines. You say he beat his wives and his children, which is awful. But maybe now that it is known why he did this perhaps he should be forgiven. How could you not help but be affected from this violence? Very well written poem and even though it has a dire message I did enjoy it. It is powerful and evocative....well done...bravo
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