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I do not cry loud for battle
having given my hand already
having held my dying kin
having rested under this willow
as the breeze swayed its lashes
smooth across my breast
having gazed into the open
starlit sky with the wonder
of many years yet to travel

No, I do not cry loud
but fill my days with labor
enough to wash my heart clean
fill my hours with listening
and pulling back, each in turn
fill my moments with remorse,
anger, gratitude, urgings
fill my weeks and years
revealing a future bit by bit
coaxed out in slow muddles

I do not cry loud, I do not cry
most of all for battle
for younger years, impatient chance
bold beginnings, heroic endings
ambulances overflowing —
yes, ruin teaches most of all
of emptied shoes shoved
into untidy piles, unnoticed —
I will not cry loud, no

———————–
Another for my father for Veteran’s Day.