Sunday, May 26, 2013

Proud and Brave Old Men

In this early morning light I sit quietly
My little dog sleeps quiet at my feet.
As I look out my window I daydream
Mind wandering as it often does before dawn.
I stop on the little things, trivial things of life
Touching them, searching, seeking for memories.
Memories of worn out old men, long time gone
Quiet men who never bragged or boasted.
Men who worked hard, cared for family
Loved and lived, never seeking recognition.
Yet now and again I find their photos
Hidden in scrapbooks, slid into family Bibles.
Suddenly they are young, slim, straight and proud
Standing tall and looking straight into the camera.
Smiles on their face, their uniforms neat and pressed
From the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Sometimes ribbons show on their chest
A silent reminder of service, of war.
And I remember the few stories seldom told
Even more seldom stories told by them.
Stories of wars and buddies and battles hard won
Comrades lost and buried in a grave years before.
Stories told at dusk, perhaps around a fire
Sometimes when it is just a few old men... remembering.
Stories of youth and fear, hardship and sacrifice
Of hunger and fighting for a noble cause.
A haunted look as they remember all they saw
A proud look as the speak of why they served.
A memory of a simple question simply asked
"Why did you endure all that?  Why did you fight so hard?"
Then a profound look in the tired eyes of men grown wise
"We  did it for freedom, son.  We fought because we were free men."
Oh, that our next generations might rise up and stand tall
I pray that freedom might be on their minds and freedom's cry on their lips.


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