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Posted: 1/12/2005 1:01:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2005 5:29:01 AM EDT by hk940]
The veteran

I sit down to write a poem
Of a man I never knew.
Of a hero and a patriot
Of story that is true

I knew him as a kind old man
To old and weak to play
Wrapped up in blankets upon his chair
On a cold and blustery days

Just after Sunday dinner
In peace he slipped away
No farewells or goodbyes
Those were really not his ways

The service was quite simple
Not much to speak of really
I helped to carry him from the hearse
Into to the cemetery

She said there was a trunk
In the attic I could have
Just junk and some mementoes
Of the man I called granddad.

The trunk was just as she had said
Half rotten brown with age
The lock upon its clasp
Closed like a curtain on a stage

What treasure would I find inside
What pleasures would I know?
Of some hidden wealth
He’d forgotten long ago?

A shame quickly overcame me
This was not the boy they raised
This was not the man that I’d become
And I wished for better days

I could break the lock at my house
Not here in this dark place
Not in front of slack jawed gawkiers
If no more than show him grace

The lock it yielded with one blow
The hinge it yielded too
And there before me was
The man I though I knew

There were no guns no nazi gold
Nothing antique or refined
No treasure much to speak of
From the man we left behind

A uniform of some sort
I shamefully didn’t know
I could not read the patches
That he had surely sewed

An envelope with some dirt marked France
And one marked Germany
Tell better than I can a story
Of where he use to be.

There were scraps of paper
Some Reich Marks and some tin
Some still bright strips of cloth
To mark the man he’d been

A wicked looking fighting knife
Its leather handle and sheath rotten
A bullet of two, the red white and blue
Now just a tattered sheet of cotton

There were pictures of a man
Id almost recognized
He’d liberated half dead corpses
With hollow shrunken eyes

As she said junk and some mementoes
Of a time I never knew
Of a land I’ll probably never see
And man I never knew

As I sit inside my den
His honor all around
The TV shows our boys are back there
This time not green but brown

In 50 years I wonder
Will their sacrifice be seen?
This generation like his, saviors
Or will they have never been?

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 1:14:59 PM EDT
God Bless those who gave so much to preserve the freedoms we take for granted.

Link Posted: 1/13/2005 5:29:25 AM EDT
bump for the morning crew
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