Striking Soldier

Poem by Joni Caggiano written 7/30/20 – Photo by Isabella Mariana from Pexels

 

(one minute read)

dark the liner underneath her emerald green eyes
sorted whispers exchanged in a smoke-filled hollow
cloaked in sadness, she journeys to the bar that floats in the air
walls of black notes isolate reality in a bluesy canvas
money cannot buy her escape, not this earthy evening
stirring within her nose, the sting of hospital air still tarries
dressing to be gazed upon, she appears like a tightly wrapped
blue-red butterfly,
as silk embraces her youthful body
smells of musk and vanilla linger on skin that melts bitterly
shadows of memories claw at her like piercing intruders
muscular is the jaw of the man who lingers close, uncommitted
approaching boldly, she licks her bare lips, sitting halfway on a stool
exposing too much of her young firm thighs
he orders her a drink, nodding yes, she sees her father’s cold skin
sterile his room, where she said her goodbyes, so lost since the war
her father, the striking soldier, overwhelming sorrow
singing by his grave after the soldiers fired their three volleys,
with their M4s, in the hot, unforgiving Carolina sun
drinking is what he would have done, so why not tonight
lost in a world of alcohol, numbing pain, liquid valor
half-smiles mimic the moon, but tears drip like acid on her face
he chose to die; the earth claims his body, but God took his soul
trying to calm her, this stranger now, wiping tears gently
downing the drink, she loses herself in music and dance,
twenty-something, and already fatherless

 

(Reading time 1 minute and 17 seconds)

I am writing this personal account of what it was like for me, when my father died.  He joined the military because he had no other way to eat after being abandoned by his father.  Very poor, his mother had no way to feed him.  I was told he lied about his age and joined the army at a very early age and served in the Korean War.  He became an alcoholic and was never the same.  I believe, because of his abandonment issues, horrible experiences in the war, and untreatable painful illness, he chose to kill himself.  My mother followed him two years later with her suicide.

I forgive both my parents and am grateful they taught me about God and Jesus.  I believe they are both in heaven and that I will see them again.  I miss them.  I am not writing about this because I want anyone to feel sorry for me; in fact, please don’t.  I feel bad for them as they had horrible childhoods too.  It is essential for children growing up in an alcoholic and abusive life to know that there are lots of ways of getting help today.  There was a tremendous amount of abuse in my life growing up.  You can become strong through support and not repeat the cycle.  You can visualize yourself as a warrior and not a victim.  Although very young children are helpless and are, therefore, always victims.

During this time of isolation, it is imperative for families with children or just husbands and wives who may drink or use drugs to be aware of the potential for increased violence and abuse. Domestic abuse is up due to issues of money, illness, and isolation because of COVID-19.  If you are currently in an abusive situation, please seek help.  Love to all my beautiful friends on WordPress and Twitter.  God Bless every one of you.  Thank you all for supporting me and allowing me to be part of your lives.

Love Joni

41 thoughts on “Striking Soldier

  1. Your personal story is touching and moving. I applaud you for using it as a platform to reach and help others who suffer under such trying conditions. And, as you said, in these most trying of times, abusive behavior has found roots to grow and increase. Help is out there and all you need to do is ask, but you must recognize it and want to change. Congrats on breaking the cycle and finding your warrior spirit, Jonikins!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh Brad thank you so much for your kind words. My site started out as an ACOA, or Adult Children of Alcoholics, site. I occasionally write and share hoping it might help someone out there. If one person is not abused or it helps one abuser stop and think then it will be a blessing. As always your reading and your comments mean a lot to me Brad, so thankful for your friendship and kind words. Have an amazing day my friend. Love 💕 and hugs coming your way. Jonikins

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you John. I miss my parents and am very proud of my fathers service to our country. They both had so many cards stacked against them in the beginning. They did the best they could. Thank you for your friendship John and your kindness it means a lot to me. Sending love ❤️ and hugs as always. Your friend Joni 🤗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you John. I was always so proud of my fathers ability to stand up for what he believed in, and I am just like him, not to mention how much he and I look a like. He was such a handsome young soldier. I think wars and memories of what you have seen never go away. I can’t imagine. I have so much admiration to all men and women who serve their Country. Thank you John for seeing it as a tribute which it was in so many ways. Love you my friend. ❤️💕Joni

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Joni. You’ve shared a very sensitive part of you honouring your parents memory in writing. It’s good and bold to share. To remember your journey and use it to propel you further. To be a force for good. True, there are many dangers that come with COVID and creating the awareness is very crucial. I’m sending love and light to you. I trust you are well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind and compassionate comment. I wasn’t sure if people could comprehend or understand but I, like you, think it is something that is ok to share. Perhaps it may help one person who reads it. I feel your love and light, thank you. I am grateful for your thoughts and I am a very blessed individual. Love 💕 to you and your loved ones. Joni

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is okay to share. You’ll feel most of the weight. I do to when sharing sensitive personal experiences. It also shows acceptance and growth. Welcome Joni

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Your story is really very touching….and to be very honest, it is extremely inspiring. The fact that you have forgiven your parents, the fact that you were able to detach(I hope so) from the painful memories, is amazing dear Joni♥️♥️ And you are such a sweet and kind person. It touches my heart and soul that you are trying to reach out to people who may be suffering in the same way you did when you were a child; that you are motivating them to stand above their fears. And yes, in the COVID19 period, domestic violence has increased….😔 People have resorted to drugs, alcohol etc. Thank you for writing this post, I sincerely hope that people understand what you are trying to convey❣
    Much love and hugs to you and your loved ones🌷🤗🤗
    Ishita🌹💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you my sweet friend Ishita for all your support, understanding and love. I have been able to give back as well. I worked as a highly trained Rape Relief and sexual abuse volunteer. So I was on call when I lived in Washington State and was able to go to the hospital, stay with victims during medical examinations and also was present when their statements were given to the police. I also worked as a board member and volunteer in the Southwest Mental Health Ministry while living in Seattle. These were wonderful ways to give back. I pray for all those who may be being abused in any way currently.

      Thank you for your wonderful kindness and support as always dear friend.

      Much love to you and your loved ones. ❤️💕🤗💖Joni

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My Dearest Honeybun, have I ever told you that you are strong, intelligent, resilient, and talented? If not, I am telling you now.
    The story of your childhood is touching and moving. Yet the child that you were – the child who had to endure so much – grew up into a gorgeous and powerful woman. God’s blessings came upon you.
    Your poem is a reflection of the experiences you had. Experiences that you have the courage to look at and talk about. It is beautifully written, plenty of painful imagery, atmospheric.

    “drinking is what he would have done, so why not tonight
    lost in a world of alcohol, numbing pain, liquid valor
    half-smiles mimic the moon, but tears drip like acid on her face
    he chose to die; the earth claims his body, but God took his soul
    trying to calm her, this stranger now, wiping tears gently
    downing the drink, she loses herself in music and dance,
    twenty-something, and already fatherless”

    This is as painful as it can be. However, a flower bloomed from these experiences and that flower is you.
    God bless you Joni. May you inspire us every day.
    Love
    G (Button)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dearest Button I am at a loss for words. Your beautiful comments have touched my heart so deeply. They mean so much to me because you mean so much to me. I do feel that God’s presence was always with me as a child and it was his love that gave me that strength.

      “This is as painful as it can be. However, a flower bloomed from these experiences and that flower is you.”

      What a wonderfully loving thing to say, thank you my friend. I believe that my childhood did make me very strong and I am an extremely blessed woman.

      I am glad you enjoyed the poem Button, that too means a lot to me. I appreciate you taking so much time to send such a long and loving comment as well.

      What wasn’t in the poem was this man I met that night was a boy I had a crush on in the third grade and I don’t think that was a coincidence either.

      Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. I am still praying that things work out with your teaching schedule that you will be comfortable with and that you stay safe.

      Love coming to you from NC dear Button. Yours honeybun. 💖🤗❤️💕🌺

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are so welcome honeybun.
        “I do feel that God’s presence was always with me as a child and it was his love that gave me that strength.” I don’t pretend to know too much but I think this means to be protected and loved even when you are going through difficult times. You are blessed Joni. I hope your words, your talent, and your goodness inspires others and blesses them too. I know you are a blessing to me.
        “What wasn’t in the poem was this man I met that night was a boy I had a crush on in the third grade and I don’t think that was a coincidence either.” What you think it’s what it is.
        You have a splendid and relaxing weekend too honeybun.
        Thank you for the love from NC. Right back to you.
        G (Button)
        xoxoxoxo

        Liked by 2 people

  5. A powerful poem. Your life story is deeply moving, Joni. Thank you for sharing it, dear friend. I know that your blog will help others to heal. We need to care for and support one another. This can be a harsh world. But there is great beauty to be found, as well. And God is always w/ us. With love, A. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Anna. I really appreciate your kind and supportive words. I hope it is helpful. I finally got a chance to read some of your work today. Powerful information and very important and helpful. There is a lot of beauty and I see it every day. With love and gratitude ❤️💕J

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Dear Joni. My father joined at seventeen. Fought in the Korean war and Vietnam. He was never right, the drink would kill him. He would talk to dead friends when the rum killed in. Powerful words and thoughts shared.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh John thank you for sharing this it touches my heart. I am sorry you had to deal with this heartache too. My mom and dad drank rum also. Imagine what it was like for them. I can’t believe your dad fought in the Vietnam War also. I am sure you are proud of his service but what a price they had to pay. Thank you so much for sharing this. We are survivors, warriors together my friend and so were our fathers for our Country. God Bless You. 💕 love and hugs 🤗 and thank you again so much. Love ya Joni

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you my friend for reading and commenting. I am glad you found it interesting.

      “What an experience it is to journey throughout painted, artistic realms of reality into your written truths of life.”

      Thank you for taking time to comment I know how busy you are my friend.
      Hugs and love to you. ❤️💕🤗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your writings are beyond amazing! Many many awards await you! How wonderful it is to have you. as a friend! Sometimes I am busy , some times not. Coordinating is a handful! (slump) 🥀. I enjoy my coffee! ☀️🌺. Hope that your having an awesome day Joni! Cheers! XOXO!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks my friend. I am grateful to have your friendship. I imagine you are extremely busy as there would be an awful lot to do. You cover lots of different interesting information. Lots and lots of entertainment which includes something for everyone. I would say you do an excellent job. Enjoy your week and have one filled with love. ❤️💕 I am just about to have my first cup of coffee, ☕️☕️☕️ my friend but I sure plan to have an amazing day. Love ❤️ Joni

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Joni I am so proud of you. You have taken back your power with your poems, your singing, your kindness & the ability to forgive & let go of the negative energy it takes to keep pain & anger inside of you. You deserve every happiness, it is so well deserved. I love you

    Liked by 1 person

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