Some Words for Memorial Day

Years ago, before my thoughts were preoccupied by work and family, I used to write poetry in addition to science fiction. I still write from time to time, as evidenced by the Hutt Publishing tab, but for some reason, the poems have pretty much dried up.

I wrote this poem over a decade ago when my grandfather was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He was a decorated veteran of World War II. Sadly, I could have also written it after my father’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. He was a Vietnam veteran who was critically injured in combat. I’ll tell his full story another day. Suffice it to say, he didn’t die in combat, but I think this fits well with the theme of the day.

This Folded Flag

The flag was folded
The horns sounded
A shot rang out
Tears then did fall
I strangled my thoughts
With stoic resolve
Pursing my lips
Against further emotion
Another fold of the colors
Another shot rings out
I glance to the rows
Of stone upon stone
And know how he fought
Full of pride and glory
His head raised high
Full of heartened duty
Surrounded by those
Of singular purpose
But the Earth beckoned
To return what was given
And no man has strength
To resist that call
The flag is folded
The final shot sounds
And I whisper beneath air
My wishes and hopes
But sorrow belies pride
And tugs at my heart
For though I do not speak
My thoughts cannot hide
So rest with the winds
That sound across this land
Knowing what you gave
To the children of all
And know of our pride
In all you have done
Know that I remember
With each taught fold
How you touched my life.

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