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Another PTSD poem - an interesting symptom of which was that I had a flashback every time my baby daughter screamed.

The Scream

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse11 Jul 2013

Gurgling in high-chair,

Bashing a plastic spoon,

She displays her two teeth

When she laughs.

She tries out sounds

To see what they can do,

Learning the ancient spell

That turns noise to language.

Then, perfectly pitched

To white light,

She experiments

With a scream.

Part of my innermost ear

Which, lying deep,

Wants only to die,

Is kicked brutally alive.

Now, it's hot, now

Dust mingles in the air

With the urine-petrol taste

Of bomb in my throat.

Bouncing round my skull,

Pain brings me back,

Blinking I return

To the baby chuckling,

Biting her spoon

And tugging at her bib,

Delighted with the power

Of her voice.