A SPECIAL DAY IN SMALLTOWN USA
A Special Day in Small Town USA
(In memory of soldiers who died
and their families left behind.)
There in Small Town USA, church was underway,
the wood pews were packed with members of many faiths.
They were all there on that special day, to honor
Corporal Donnie Jones who had, at last, come home.
A coffin, brand new, draped with an American flag,
a military honor guard stood by its side,
to carry Corporal Jones to his grave nearby,
where the rest of the little town gathered to wait.
A little late, she came in and sat in a back pew.
a brown haired beauty, petite and small, with freckles.
Noone knew who she might be, or why she was there.
They knew that she was not from Small Town USA.
The Pastor spoke of Christian love and a family
that was heartbroken by the loss of a loved one.
A Major spoke of heroics by Corporal Jones,
how he saved ten others by giving up his life.
Barbara Jones placed the medal over her heart,
she told how much her son, Donnie, wanted to serve
this country and help keep it free from evildoers.
A festive homecoming was planned for his return.
The Pastor asked the people to stand and join hands
to pray for the soul and love of their hero son.
Before he could speak a small timid voice called out
to ask if she could say something important now.
The young stranger, so small, walked quickly to the front
looked at the crowd, smiled with tears rolling down her cheek.
They waited and wondered who this person could be
and what she might say about Donnie this sad day.
I am Mary Ann, Donnie and I were to wed,
today, right here, in this church, at his homecoming,
He wanted to surprise his family this day.
We would start a new life in Small Town USA.
I am from a large city far from this small town,
where you may not know the person living next door.
Donnie talked about all of you, I know your names.
His heart was forever in Small Town USA.
I won’t live the life we had dreamed of together,
Donnie and I, among family and close friends.
I will carry to my grave, the sight of you,
what might have been us here in Small Town USA.
Donnie’s mom smiled and took Mary Ann by the hand,
standing with her until the ceremony end.
Outside Donnie’s family and friends sought her out,
hugging her, holding her hands with love in their eyes.
They buried Donnie Jones that day, in the Churchyard.
He gave his life for his country heroically so far away,
At last he came home, a hero, with honor, to stay
with family and friends in Small Town USA.
Mary Ann became a Jones in her heart that day,
staying several days with Donnie’s family,
meeting his friends, listening to stories of his youth.
Leaving, she left her heart in Small Town USA.
Robert Hewett Sr.
November 20, 2009