The Patriots

  • It was never really about us
    but I admit I was uneasy
    about being accepted, and permitted to honor

    The young man who wasn't the first
    to die, a mother's third son
    and the second she's lost.

    The men and women proved welcoming
    of me, and we were shortly on to our duty
    of showing the fellow's father our gratitude.

    Young women and men walked in, uncertain,
    and the older generation already knew
    what was coming, a celebration, and goodbye.

    Past our colors, into the church where he lay flag-draped
    and his last brother waited
    to see his parents in torment again.

    But the Corporal's superior told of courage
    and determination, and resolve to achieve
    what he intended his life to be.

    The old men toughened against
    December's fury and their own memories.
    They didn't want to see this again.

    Marines, soldiers, and sailors
    pushed aside the biting cold, and endured
    in his honor, in his memory.

    Shots fired and prayers offered,
    both startling in their finality
    then roses, and deliberate salutes

    And we stood by
    offering what we had to offer, however feeble
    But it was never really about us.