What to do about our friend Stew
loses the plot a lot ..
will we book him into the zoo*
PSTD he has got!

can’t sleep at night
often looking for a fight
short fuse, swift to blow
family wanting to go

restless and angry
can’t keep a job
suspicious and jumpy
easy to take fright

comes from trauma they say
his family certainly pay
for living with him
they said it’s a sin

his symptoms fill reams
No cure it seems
treatment in doubt
we want to help out

but what can we do
when he stays away
avoids his family too
won’t talk on the phone

maybe we best leave him alone
kids have left home
wife in despair
he just can’t show his care …

• * euphemism for a psych unit
• the Bard perfectly described this condition in Macbeth well before DSM came into existence!
dVerse, descriptive detail, Frank + making much of madness, Laura


  1. My father returned from WWII, with full blown battle fatigue, what we now call PTSD. He became a barroom brawler, spent too much time in the drunk tank, owned a gun shop, and ended up shooting a, man in the face with threatened him with a knife. He smoked and drank too much and died before he could retire.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sad poem, dear Kate. Though its sad its quite common and real.
    Thankfully my dad is a good worker, supports his family and loves it.

    We can only be grateful for what er have when encountering cases like these.

    Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Powerful, important poem, Kate!
    There are so many Stews in our world. 😦
    War, violence, abuse, trauma, etc, affects the person and, also, their family and friends. 😦
    I admire and appreciate those who can work with, and often help, the Stews in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Effects of war on these people are so sad, Kate and you have written such a beautiful poem of such men and what they must have gone thru their lives that they become so hateful and spew anger to each and everyone and are impossible to manage. Families also go thru hell with such people.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for this Kate. so many with PTSD are just dismissed as rowdies or introverts, and the ravages of the anxiety induced by the trauma is not seen or acknowleged, even by themselves. You have shown us the storm and the humanity in the details here. Very important and lovely and heart-breaking poem. The 2015 Macbeth movie with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cottilard reflects so aptly the PTSD that Shakespeare is showing us. It is my favorite version, Lady Macbeth is not crazy in it, she is just done with it. My heart goes out to Stew.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. War wreaks havoc on people’s minds. I don’t understand men who take their weapons to kill unknown people. I have a friend who voluntarily fought in Vietnam, returned as a drug addict. Such poems are needed to inform about the effects of wars.
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My grandpa, now deceased, fought in World War II. He was in combat and in two battles and was pretty sure he killed someone, which did haunt him. He lost some of his hearing, but he was always a gentle giant at 6 feet 7 inches. He never complained about anything and worked hard in the same job for most of his adult life. He made maps. He had so much patience!

    I found out he had PTSD one time, and I felt horrible. I was playing a game where you kill Nazis. I opened a room, and this machine gun Nazi jumps out and yells, “Gooten tock.” He was behind me and started screaming at me and demanding I turn it off. Some people carry demons. He actually wanted me to join the army to get away from my parents, saying they’d take care of me. I’ve never played that game again. He was annoyed I never married. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

      • He was a great person. How many people could draw maps for like 50 hours a week? He was very into his duty. Never complained about anything minus the video game. I didn’t take that as complaining just a reaction, in reality. Was a bit worried about the German he shot at and who fell into the water. I’m not that sensitive. I think our culture has harmed our reactions to violence. If I had a gun and saw the German in WW2, I would be like, “Bitch be dead. Look who is going swimming. I’m not fond of my generation, and I’m part of it.

        Everyone loved him and grandma. She’s still alive. When he was in the hospital, all he talked about was how great grandma is. He loved her at the end.

        Liked by 1 person

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