The Last Word in PTSD is Disorder, Which is Not Exactly the Best Word Choice · Ron Riekki

as if it’s all about organization.
Although maybe it is. The organization
I was involved with was the military
and I go to the V.A. and in the waiting
room we wait, hard core wait,
where it’s hours and hours where I have time
to count all of the missing arms and legs,
the missing organs in these men
who joined the military to get money for college,
except they didn’t realize how hard it is
to get through college with a traumatic brain injury
and I sit there on the hard chair
and think about “stress order,”
what it would be like to put all my stress
into a single file line,
the way we’d stand in boot camp,
a camp for boots,
where I still can’t believe
how much time we spent
in boots,
shining our boots,
and our drill instructor, swear to God, even calling us “boots,”
his nickname for us,
this man whose job was titled “drill instructor,”
whose job was to drill,
to make holes
and they did,
ten holes,
as ten people died
and I fall asleep and think of the yard of graves,
falling asleep,
fall in,

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P. (Ghost Road Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), and the upcoming My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press, 2019) and i have been warned not to write about this (Main Street Rag, 2020). Riekki co-edited Undocumented (Michigan State University Press) and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead (McFarland), and edited And Here (MSU Press), Here (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), and The Way North (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book). He has anthologies upcoming with Edinburgh University Press, McFarland, MSU Press, and WSU Press.