Melissa Steinman: Old Timers
Old Timers: A Term of Endearment
There is no certain path on the road to healing. It is a direction
that you take out of a valley surrounded by tall mountains.
The underbrush of the forest is thick as a jungle.
From across the valley, a brother runs towards me,
and nearly out of breath he says, “There was no path
to healing when we came back.
But we are used to cutting through jungles,
we started hacking through the bush 40 years ago,
in a direction that might lead to it.
We aren’t finished yet, we’re most of the way up the hill,
but we saw you coming, so we ran all the way back
to get you.
Don’t get me wrong. The path is narrow and uphill in all directions,
but we have cleared most of the brush before you,
and as long as it takes,
we will walk it with you.”
US Coast Guard, Kuwait Veteran