John’s Dad

John’s dad just came home from war in Iraq
We can’t ask him if he killed anyone
He screams in the night when it all comes back
John says his dad’s no longer any fun

Bathroom reeks of rust and linoleum
The bank vaults of porcelain hide his stash
You can never find John’s dad’s opium
He keeps it in little bags with the hash

We have to stay outside to play our games
John’s dad has something called PTSD
A rusted truck where he blows out his brains
A bad tattoo that says USMC

Now something is wrong with John in his head
He wishes his dad has just come back dead



Jared Loper is an English educator in Indianapolis, Indiana who has taught sixth grade all the way up through college freshman composition courses. Jared received his BA in education from BYU-Idaho and his MFA in creative writing from Full Sail University. He has sold a feature-length screenplay, a number of short scripts, and has written a variety of freelance articles for a number of publications, including Indy’s own NUVO. He is also the host of the mostly-defunct podcast Writer’s Grief, which can be found on iTunes or online at:


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