Remember

This is a poem by a friend of mine in the Pacific Northwest.

Do you like me?
Do you care?
Do you understand
What put me there?

I was happy
Free and wild
I was carefree
Like a wondering child.

But then one day
The wind rushed in
The mailman came
Delivered sin.

He brought a notice
Black and white
It told me where
I’d be that night.

I opened it and
Read it straight away
Report for Duty!
Do not delay!!

I loved my country
And served with pride
I must admit, never really
Thought I’d die.

But on the field
With crimson stain
I lost my life
A victory gained

My best friend cried
Sitting there alone
Only 18, these feelings
He had not known.

He dragged me off
The field that night.
Collected things
I said I’d write.

I made him promise
As he laughed
The month before
In case I passed.

I said please remind
The ones I love
I didn’t ever
Want to leave.

When they ask why
Just tell them this:
A fellow cannot
Be remiss.

He must stand
For what is good.
Protect and serve
Sometimes with blood.

I wanted to be there
For graduation,
Weddings, births
And collaborations.

I gave it up
And so did they
But don’t distress, see
I’ve paved the way.

For you to raise
Your family
In the soft waving breeze
Of liberty.

I loved my life;
My wife and son
I did not even
Have a gun.

I was just a guy
With a heart and soul.
Doing things that
I’d rather not do.

But sometimes there
Are certain things
That one must stand for
Not just cling

To all our fears
Or childish ways
Refusing to see
Beyond the haze

Peace sounds great
It’s what I want
That is why
I fought the fight.

For you and yours
To have a bright
Future full of love
Grace and delight.

I did not falter
I did not run
I did not sell us out
I stood my ground

For you and for
Our children, then
For family, friends;
Our countrymen.

When you tell her
If you stand
Before her
She will understand.

He called on her
It crushed her world
He held her close
As she unfurled.

But I was right
She handled well
The news that my
Last note would tell.

I did not give
My life in vain
For you to spit
Upon my grave.

So when you pass
My way and glance
At my headstone
In happenstance

With bronze details
So stark and grey
Remember that
I died that day.

~J. Knight, c 2014 (all rights reserved.)

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3 thoughts on “Remember

You may fire when ready, Gridley

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