by Albert Semple, 2021

  1. "Do I have flashbacks? No, not I,"
  2. When asked, is how I would reply.
  3. As the condition as it's shown
  4. On TV, doesn't match my own.

  5. I see no visions, hear no sound
  6. But find it hard to stay around
  7. The people whom I hold so dear
  8. Because I'm overwhelmed with fear.

  9. A sound, a smell, a hostile face,
  10. Loud music in communal space,
  11. A barking dog, a shouting mum,
  12. A beckoned child who will not come.

  13. All these things can trigger me
  14. To freeze, to fawn, to fight or flee.
  15. My inner child comes to the fore
  16. Who views things as they were before,

  17. Who fails to see things as they are:
  18. A grown man, a house, a car,
  19. A loving fam'ly, growing fast.
  20. The threat is gone, it's in the past.

  21. I'm not a hero — don't deserve
  22. The same regard as those who serve
  23. Their nation decked in battle dress
  24. Or helping people in distress.

  25. See I am just a normal man.
  26. I've tried to be the best I can,
  27. But suffered trauma on the way,
  28. That echoes in my head today.

by Albert Semple
28 lines over 7 stanzas.