The Broken Soldier – A Poem

With a huff and a groan, on a prosthetic leg,

He jerked painfully down the aisle to his seat.

He stopped,

Holding his COVID mask to his mouth

In a grimace.

The pack on his back

thudded heavily down.


“You okay, brother?”

Called a man from the rear.

Quick strides brought the speaker

To the seat with the pack.

“Hey, brother, it’s hard.”

– A cough and a groan –

“Is he drunk?” asked the flight attendant.

“No, worse. It’s withdrawals.”


“Brother, it’s hard. I’m not gonna lie.

It’s bad, and it’s gonna get worse.

Where’d you serve, brother?”


“Four tours in Afghanistan,”

He sputtered through tears.


“Brother, I’ve been there.

It’s bad, and it’s gonna get worse,” he kept saying.

“It’s bad, really bad.

You don’t have to stay here;

You can get out before we take off.

If you stay,

You’ll get help when you get there.

I’m not gonna lie.

It’s gonna get bad; it’s gonna get worse.”


A whisper and groan,

“I can’t, really can’t.”


He lifted his head from his hand on the seatback,

Then scanning the cabin, he looked up at me.

Our eyes met

In the red-rimmed gray ocean

Of his clearing and glowing blue eyes.

I wanted to strengthen him,

To shout,” You can do it!”,

But all I could do was just stand there.


“I’ll pray for you, brother,”

The helper was saying.

Another man, too, had offered to pray.


“Do you want to get off?

If you want, you can do that.”


“I’m going to stay on,” he said firmly,

And all of the passengers cheered.


The plane ride was rough.

Several babies were wailing.

Three rows behind me

The soldier was heaving.

The helper stayed with him,

His hand on his back,

And holding the bag he coughed into.


All finally quieted as we came in for landing.

Quickly the helper walked to the attendant,

And came back and told him,

“They said you’ll be last. It’s okay.”

Then off whisked the helper to catch his next plane.


We waited to see him

When he walked through the gate.

He was last, and they brought him a wheelchair.


With muscular arms

He hoisted his pack.

Standing up straight and tall he said,

“I’d rather walk.”


That’s all we knew

about the man with the pack,

But that man gives me hope

in my country.

He knew it was bad

And that it’d get worse.

He had said that he couldn’t,

But what he meant was  “give up”.

He couldn’t give up.

With one leg or no legs

He’d stand up and walk.



The Virgin Watchman – A Poem

Out upon the rocky rampart

Unnoticed and alone

Sits the virgin watchman.

Her tears do not distort the view;

She waits and through them watches

Like Anna and old Simeon

Knowing day does come.

She waits and works and watches

Writing plain upon her tablet

Crying for the day

When sons shall run

And read

And conquer

And darkness flee away.

Habakkuk 2:1-3

A Point of Life -A Philosophical Physics Riddle

Here is a riddle I have composed after many months of a certain line of contemplation.

A Point of Life -The Riddle

by Susan Ector Ward

I occupy a point.

The point is a location on a particular line.

The line is located on a particular plane.

Within the plane, I am occupying a location on an infinite number of other lines.

The location of my point is claimed by an infinite number of other planes each of which incorporates an infinite number of other lines whose path also claims my point.

My point is the center of an infinite sphere.

I may move in any direction along any of the infinite number of lines occupied by my point.

Successively and momentarily as I move, I will be occupying one of an infinite number of other points each one not only located on the line along which I move but also located on an infinite number of other lines and also located on an infinite number of other planes, few of which are occupied by the point at which I began.

As I move, each point whose location I occupy becomes the center of a new infinite sphere.

I may change my direction by choosing to move along any of the infinite lines whose path
claims the point of my new location.

As I move, I find that I have influenced an infinite number of spheres whose center I have occupied.

If I move backward to retrace my path, though I will again pass through the center of every one of the infinite spheres whose center I had occupied before, I cannot influence any sphere in the same way I had influenced it before because I have been influenced by each of the infinite spheres along my path.  The fact of my movement has changed me.  Though I go back, neither I nor my point can ever be the same as we once were.

Who am I?

Finished guessing?  The answer here.

Rosemary -A Poem


Earth is raped

And forced to bring forth

Not after its kind,

Like Rosemary’s Baby

Half fiend and half man.

Creation groans in labor

Caught in the evil embrace

Writhing and crying and struggling

To burst free

From the rhythmic thrusts

Of the rapist.

The anguish in this poem is for the corrupting of nature through genetic modifications and the poisons created to kill.

The Wife and the Whore -a poem

How she loves him

She gently strokes his work worn brow

He calls and she comes

He asks and she gives

Her gaze intuits his desire

For his comfort she draws him in

to her warm and beating breast.


How he loves her

Ivory tower his alone

Porcelain delicate, smooth as glass

A treasure fought for

A prize attained

He sets her high

Atop his cluttered trophy shelf.


Author’s comment:

A man may have the wife of the first stanza and yet never realize the gift and never give her the honor she is due. He may imagine a porcelain prize, his idol on a shelf. She is not a real woman. She is not warm, but cold as glass. Her image blocks his view of the real woman stroking his brow. To him glass is the wife he believes he deserves. This warm woman is the whore he uses.

A woman too may have her masculine prize on the shelf and not see the gift in her arms.


What if Time is the medium of Eternity?

As water is the medium of the ocean

And all sea creatures move through water;

As air is the medium of the atmosphere

And all surface creatures move within air;

So Time is the medium of Eternity

And all Heaven and Earth move through and within Time.

The Bird and The Fish by Geninne Ziatkis,