Vincent Cerchione

2015 Warrior Care Month Healing Arts

Letter to Ourselves

Dear Vinnie One day the rain will come for you again. When it does, remember this—you have soared on the rumble of a mustang’s back, horsepower screaming like your raft down the Chattooga River. The rain will fall, soaking you in anger, flooding your senses, taken out on your loved ones, rapids of conflict seen and unseen in the sands of Abraham and beyond.
That rain will soak you to the bone; cold, chilling fear of the unknown, creeping in, bankrupting your being, wallet and soul. But you have stood tall, you have broken men and women down and built them up into the greatest fighting force the world has ever known.

You did that with your loud and funny abstract views of life, painted by the brush of a good man-good enough.
You are good enough—good enough to take each day and yell with all your heart at the heavens above, “ is that all you’ve got???”

You are good enough to fly like Mike—to believe you can soar. Accept the rain, let it wash over you and enjoy its replenishing drops of life to grow within—not to say hidden, allow yourself to grow and go……live.

Close the latch

Close the latch of my mouth and
Watch me disappear
No one notices me when I’m quiet
I’m insignificant
Just another vowel
Silenced by the “in crowd”
People only notice me when my mouth is open
Laughter, self-depreciation
I continue to do for others
But who really notices?
It doesn’t feel like it to me
Fuhgedaboudit right?
Close the latch of my mouth and watch
Me disappear
No more doctor visits
No more whining
No more appeasing
No more pain
No more me
To worry about
I say what I feel and feel what I say
Practicing what I preach
The only one listening
The only one
Close the latch of my mouth and I’m gone…………..

Did you ever wonder?

Did you ever wonder
What I see
When the flood of anxiety
Comes over me
At the store, the mall
Or even on the train
I don’t seem like Vinnie
I don’t seem the same
I see threats, crowds
And exit ways
I see a suicide bomber
And the end of days
I see a Muslim man
With his phone in hand
Conjuring up an evil plan
I feel my heart race
My knees start to buckle
I sweat and I stare
And my hands go white knuckled
I panic and wait for
Limbs that will fly
My head starts to scream
I open my eyes and…
Nothing has happened
All that I hear
Is the voice of the door
Saying “Next stop is up,
Stand clear, stand clear.”
And as the doors shut
And the train starts to move on
My symptoms have come
And as quick they have gone
My body is ravaged
Exhausted by fear
If you listen real close
You’ll be able to hear
My heart beat a’ beating
My pulse going thump
Just watch as my shoulders
Begin to just slump
And fall with a feeling
Of relief magnified
That I’m standing right here
That I never had died
Then the guilt starts to rack me
My mind it plays tricks
Which is why I seek help
And a long long term fix
To help me be me again
In whole, mostly in part
Anything I do at least
It is still a start—
So now I wonder
How you really feel
About staying here with me
Tell me now please, what’s the deal?
Can you stand by me
While I’m “crazy” and say
I love you
Let’s do this
Day after day.


In my fists are the seeds of redemption
There are so many days
More than less
That I feel I have failed
I feel broken down physically, mentally, emotionally
I feel like I have failed my family, the Army, the world
That’s pretty big—failures I mean
Interpretations of my place in the world
I feel
I’m supposed to fly, meant for moire
But now I face exile, release, removal
No longer blending into the force
Standing out, digital and gray
This road is a long one
The road to redemption
Of my mental
Physical pain
Broken soul
Determined to redeem my dreams
Of who I am, who I should be
I question this road I’m on
Hope springs eternal
They say
My spring right now
Devastated by drought
But I hold onto hope’s tiny roots
I can’t give up right?
Mini-me believes
The scarecrow never gave up on me
Or a brain!
So in my fists are the seeds of redemption
I try to keep running
For my health
Towards the mirage
To plant hope’s roots
And meet
In the the clouds
The me of my mind

When you hear me speak

When you hear me speak, what do you really hear?
Do you hear a happy man?
Or a man torn to pieces?
Do you hear a man with a joy of living?
Or breaths grasping for air?
When you hear me speak what do you really hear?
Can you hear the cries for help?
Or do you hear the cries of pain?
Can you hear the cries at all?
Or do you ignore them just the same?
When you hear me speak what do you really hear?
Or do you even care?

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