My last memory in Afghanistan

Watching with sadness
The helicopter that took my dead and injured soldiers away
The first tragedy for my company
How should I tell them?

These thoughts were interrupted
replaced by shrapnel in my brain from another explosion
How little I knew
No awareness of the knock on my wife’s door
My worried colleagues nor the shards that tore through my skull

Thankfully I have no memory
Of the pain my family suffered
Nor my own affliction
For that you will have to ask my bedside companions

I am told that upon waking
I tried to escape
I was trapped and captured by the Taliban
Days of explanation reduced my fear
But bewilderment remained

I became aware that something was wrong a few weeks later
A painful head and deafness accompanied by a constant shrill
Disorientation and weight loss
A few visitors but only slight comprehension
But how were my soldiers?
I missed them and prayed for their safety

Exhaustion, imbalance and dysfunctional thoughts
Delivered by an explosive device
Annoyed at the disruption to my work
Like my brain, ripped apart from those I loved
To the welcome fold of those I love much more
But in unfortunate circumstances

Over time the tangible confusion has subsided to a lesser one
With how my brain now functions
Deafness and tinnitus remain an integral part of my life
Nearly two years later and this journey continues
A most frustrating and emotional one
For my family as well.