A Dance of White-Gloved Hands
Folding Old Glory at a new grave
They fold the flag and with each fold
we realize what we've been told
(about those men who gave their all)
is absolutely true.
As silently they crease the cloth,
we realize there is no froth
in Freedom's stein as Liberty
makes toasts to those who served.
That triangle with each fold grows
more thick as we recall the foes
that robbed young soldiers of their dreams
of coming home again.
A slow motion dance of white-gloved hands
that pictures what few understand.
That freedom is not ever free.
That heroes are not born.
One last salute to one now dead,
who rests within an earthen bed
aware of Taps, but even more
The First Anniversary of a Veteran's Passing
Second thoughts on my father's death
A year ago this very week
I heard my dying father speak
three little words I long to hear.
He whispered, "I love you."
I think about that final year
as that last day was drawing near
and how my dad reminded me
how rich his life had been.
A faithful wife, two loving sons
a rental business that he'd run,
extended family who believed
he was a royal prince.
This veteran of the Second War
recounted South Pacific horror
as conflicts paved the way for peace
and his long trip back home.
My mind rehearses what I saw
as Dad would shuffle down the hall
to find his favorite easy chair
and spend some time with God.
That proud Marine resisted aid.
His do-it-by-himself parade
would prove to me (and to himself)
that he still had some fight.
But at the end he was so weak,
he found it hard to even speak.
Yet softly he bequeathed me hope
and faith to carry on.
A Tragedy in Texas
Poetic reflections on the massacre at Fort Hood
When we're ambushed and blindsided
by a foe disguised as friend,
we're as helpless as a child
or a leaf blown by the wind.
At such times we're thrown off-balance
as we try to understand
Evil's modus operandi
here and in Afghanistan.
Life is fragile and ironic.
War survivors die at home.
And as questions beg for answers,
we must turn to God alone.