Jack Ryan


He stood 5’6 at about 115 pounds

The lights in Jacks eyes confounds.

For just a moment as he looks at you

Coming back from someplace his mind went to.

 

Someplace during World War Two

With too much barb wire and walls askew.

Then a prisoner of the Third Reich

This P-38 pilot and Luftwaffe Shrike.

 

His eyes return from that far away time

You can see his vision of it sublime.

His green eyes twinkle at you and shine

A toothy grin and now he’s fine.

 

Jet black hair parted to one side

Never took for himself a bride.

The results of his stay in the camps

The horrors he’s seen has left it’s stamp.

 

A once handsome man now bent and broken

Speaks to you in a hollow voice soft-spoken.

He chain-smokes Camel Cigarettes you see

His hands shake a little as he looks at me.

 

You can’t help but love this brave soul

Whose survival from the Germans has taken it’s toll.

His nervous laugh comes a little too easy

And when he sits too long he becomes uneasy.

 

Jack lived with his Mother and step father

And his Mother admitted that he was no bother.

For they were friends of my parents and me

So on visits to their house there was Jack and me.

 

And I loved talking to Jack because he was fun

“Hello David, how are you doing son?’

And his face would come back from where-ever it was

When he saw me come into his room because.

 

I’d listen to Jack and not say a word

He’d tell me new stories that I’d never heard.

He liked me because I liked him

But sometimes his stories got dark and grim.

 

And one evening Jack got that far away look in his eyes

And his green eyes to me did mesmerize.

He told me of horrors of the camp he had seen

He told me in this camp he had been.

 

And the light in Jack’s eyes got stranger still

And a glaze came over them like an icy chill.

“Those dirty no good son of a bitches”

Jack’s words now coming in strange pitches.

 

This frail man stood up out of his rocking chair

And he ran his hand through his thick black hair.

I saw his ribs through his T-shirt heaving

And sobs from his soul relieving.

 

The agony he relives every day of his life

Of those days behind fences filled with strife.

The tears streamed down his face straight away

And he was embarrassed that I saw him that way.

 

So I reached over and took Jack’s shaking hand

The one with the cigarette lighter and gold band.

And the tears continued to flow

“David you’re a good kid you know.”

  

His words to me as he managed a smile

His eyes came back to green after while.

His mother came in and asked if things were all right?

So I jumped up and smiled at her with all my might.

 

Her smile at me telling of Jack’s plight

She turned and walked back out of sight.

And Jack looked at me and said “Thank you Son”

“ Now tell me about something that’s fun.”

 

This was Jack Ryan.

He was a real person.

He was a real prisoner of war

And he was my friend.

 

Dave Proffitt

7/26/2013

12:24 am.

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