The old soldier.
He lies in his bed staring at the wall, if he tries to stand he knows he will fall. He listens for the carers, the ticking of the clock, behind his own door that doesn't have a lock.
The carers come in and roll him on his bed, they wash and clean him and make sure he is fed. They all are kind but he is just a shell, they spray the room to cover up the smell.
Day after day, he knows the routine. Fridays it's a shower, they like to keep him clean. They shave his face but don't look in his eyes, or see the man behind the frail disguise.
He hears the sound of the medicine cart, A nurse comes in and fills out his chart. She gives him a pill and walks out of the door, just another patient just another chore.
The TV is on he hasn't got a choice, he wants to rest but doesn't have a voice. He knows he is there waiting now to die, praying for the angels to show him how to fly.
He closes his eyes and recalls his life, if only he still had his beautiful wife. She could make him laugh, she could make him sing. She would turn his winter back into spring.
He hears the sound of distant guns, he starts to scream until a carer runs. She tries to calm him, but he is back at war. He cannot forget what they had all died for.
The sun goes down and he feels pain, he rings his bell again and again. But he cannot convey, the words won't come out. The carers tells him it's not good to shout.
Here lies a soldier, who did his part. Here lies a hero with a broken old heart. Here lies a person in need of respect, here is a person desperate to connect.
Look past the old man curled up in a ball, put up some pictures on that bare white wall. Give him back his dignity, throw him a rope be a ray of sunshine when he cannot cope.
The carers are busy and sometimes forget to see this person who fought so we could all be free. He is an old soldier, the war it may be won but his final battle has only just begun.