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Echoes Of War, Centuries Of Grief.

Updated on January 8, 2013

Echoes Of War, Centuries Of Grief.

To all those tiny waifs, faces upturned

their eyes so new to absence, moist with tears
girls holding tight with trembling lips
young lads who clung with earnest grips
upon their Daddies legs refusing to let go
then wailing with dismay at his goodbyes.

Through out the centuries war has been a blight
their crying caught in check when his voice spoke
to promise them that he would be back soon
he turned and walked away to fight a war
then vanished in the smoke and flames unleashed.

I speak for precious children left behind
his promise lives, someday you'll be rejoined
beyond the dust of graves...and Dads denied.

To all the Moms, and Dads who gave much more
then any cause should ask of them to give
this boy they nurtured, smiling as he grew
then frowning as the war drums banged their toll.

Their dreams for sons did not include a trip
to battle zones, to risk both life, and limb
but patriots they touched his uniform
they kissed his cheek, and hugged him one more time
then sent him whole, and healthy off to fight.

But got back telegrams...and body bags
some shiny medals, and some folded flags
plus monstrous gaping holes left in their souls
wherein echoed the words of his farewell....

"Don't worry Mom and Dad, I'll see you soon."
and in a sense his words they still ring true
for when his parent's hearts they cease to ache
they'll find him standing tall at heavens gate
awaiting their return, so patiently
he'll welcome them at last, forever home.

To all those wives who watched their vows dissolve
much earlier then they could ever fathom
by shrapnel, bullets, bayonets, and swords
"Death did them part..." upon some foreign shore
each marriage formed ironic parallels.

Your husbands "marched down aisles"...then off to war
know that your husbands left for "Honor" too
they "Cherished" their homeland, both "rich and poor"
in "Sickness, and in health" sworn to defend
"For better, or for worse" they stood their ground.
"United as one" each platoon advanced
on bended knees they fell for sacred vows.

And know that in their final, ragged breath
they whispered your names with great reverence
your last kiss lingered sweetly on their lips
your memories cradled them to paradise
where someday God again will join your hands
renewing love that "NONE" will put asunder
and "Thank You" for your greatest sacrifice.

To all young men who gave up hopes for love,
young saplings caught by thunder from above,
those tall and strong who faced wars cruelest winds,
when I.E.D.s and bombs removed their limbs.

Sent home to sit as veterans alone,
just trunks with souls,
in wards where love's postponed,
or burned in fiery blasts that scorched their skin,
beyond all hopes of passion, wallowing in,
wheelchairs to watch the pretty nurses tend,
the kind of wounds society can't mend.

They gave up wives, or lovers and remain,
an object women pity, but refrain,
from ever viewing as someone to love,
destroying all the joys that men dream of.

I've walked the rows of beds where these men lay,
And seen despair across each face convey,
the wish that they could all be whole like me,
They faced the fall, as wartime stole their leaves,
to come back home, and find love that relieves,
the pains of being maimed, for them I grieve.

More than even those who died, this I believe,
for I have arms to hold, and legs to dance,
and all my parts to share in sweet romance,
but they have single beds where they will be,
sad victims most folks never want to see.

To all brave men who fought ...these words salute
Brothers-in-arms who stood answering the call
who lost their friends to crippling, sudden blasts
or choked on nerve, or blood, or mustard gas
as well as victims crushed by Agent Orange.

The years "still" stake their claim, the death tolls rise
to those who lost their limbs, and normal lives
or fell to drugs, disease, or suicides.

To all who faced the British musket balls
and those who fought for union in our land
all those who sat entrenched against the Huns
or belly crawled through sands at Normandy
or scaled the lava crusts of Iwo Jima
or shivered in the Chosin Reservoir
or night patrolled jungles in Vietnam
or faced the toxic winds of Desert storm
or fell in flames on mountains of Afghan
or took the bullet's puncture in Iraq.

Each year we send out more who don't come back
this poem's for you, your brothers yearky gather,
to guarantee you'll never be forgotten
and when at last they "Fall out" from this life
they'll join your ranks, "At Ease" on heaven's shores
in glory, honored, peace at long last granted
free from the pains of war forevermore.

To all prisoners of war...and M.I.A.'s
I offer you these humble words, and song
our hopes for your return...they slip away
for you've remained in limbo far too long
unknown the place you fell, but still we care
you haunt our thoughts, this is our solemn prayer

"As long as there are men who have a voice
recovery teams will search, it is our choice
as veterans we always must demand
a true accounting brought for every man.

Return the fallen, here to their homeland
for them anything would be wrong
I close now with my old familiar song...
the lyrics that I wrote to sing with..(Taps)

"Rest in Peace....

Brave young men
free from sorrow,
and pain....battle spent
from your humble graves, so alone
We shall come...
and we'll carry you....Home."

(c)-2008-Artwhimsically Yours Studio-by MFB III


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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      What a beautiful tribute this is to all who gave so much and for those who paid the ultimate price. I love how you've included those left behind ... the heartache and the pain.

      This is one of the most touching, well-written poems I've ever read. Perfect! Thank you!


    • profile image

      MFBIII 8 years ago

      And most often the middle class and the poor, fodder for the cannons.... thanks for your comment and your read.~~~MFBIII

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thank you -- it is never worth the price, no matter what is said by those who didn't have to go. Here is a verse from an old Scottish song:

      The first time it was fathers

      The last time it was sons,

      And in between, our husbands

      Went off to face the guns.