Kerry “Doc” Pardue

THE OLD MAN AND THE MOUNTAIN

Along life’s journey, I had to learn a thing or two;
Sometimes we got to climb a mountain to overcome our fear
or it will get the best of you.

I met an old man on the road one hot day in the Sun
He said to me, “Son you look mighty troubled”
I replied, “You can see that clearly huh?”

He told me it was in my eyes… was a sure give away.
All he could see was the pain, the hurt, and agony.
“If you want true healing you need to face it today.”

“True healing comes from overcoming the ideas called
‘Could have’ and ‘Should have’,” he told me soft and low.
“In Vietnam, you did your best. You did not fail or fall.”

“See that mountain straight ahead; it contains all
of the answers that you seek.” I turned to ask a
simple question but he was gone, his name I started to call.

I began to climb the mountain and I heard voices begin to say
“Go back.” It wasn’t safe for even them.
I replied, “Nothing would stop me from finishing today.”

As I reached the mid-way point, I heard someone cry
It was doubt. he had been discovered, faced head-on,
he was such a coward, he began to fade and die.

I thought to myself: that was too easy, he seemed stronger,
he had been my partner for the past 32 years or so.
I usually gave in to him but not today, not any longer.

Renewed in self-confidence I began again to climb
then I heard the evil laugh of the twins, fear and worry;
their voices in the clouds did chime.

I climbed faster now I knew I could not stop
for I had to take them to the task, to rid their life in mine.
I knew what I had to do – throw them down from the top.

I reached the top and there they were ugly to my sight.
We began the struggle to see who would win today
They taunted and they screamed as we began our fight.

“You can’t win; we have controlled you far too long.
We know your every weakness.” I was bound
and determined that in my life they did not belong.

I grabbed Worry by the throat and shook him with all my might.
I squeezed the very life out of him and tossed him off the side.
Then it was Fear’s turn; I hated him most of all.

It was me or him that would win today. I glanced
in his big brown eyes, there I saw it. He was terrified!
He tried to run away. He tripped and fell off the side,
Falling to his death, and now I knew I had another chance.

To began my life over without worry fear or doubt.
I know that Vietnam is a part of my life and will continue
to be. But now I can live my life finally pain-free.