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Updated on September 10, 2012
Robert Hewett Sr., Author
Robert Hewett Sr., Author

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


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    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thank you Sommer for your wornderful comment

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 5 years ago

      This is beautiful! I am sharing and voting up and more:)

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks Marilyn, I have one poem about 911 for sure. I may try to write something new also. TTYL

    • profile image

      MARILYN FRANCIS 5 years ago

      (' so very sad Robert, tear jerking write and praying the war ends soon so this can't happen again, Hope you can read for us Wed. some 9-11 poetry . We are honoring that tragic day with poetry, the least we can do. Thanks Excellent write, Marilyn

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thank you ImKARN23 for your heart touching comment. It is obvious you feel the pain my poem was intended to show.

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thank you WHONUNUWHO for this touching review comment.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      This was very difficult to read! The brutal honesty is so much different than the glory the gov't prefers us to invest in! i am sharing and voting and tweeting..

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      Heart breaking and such sadness. Thank you for your sharing and letting Americans know what it is like to lose a part of yourself in a terrible war.