Sunday, May 29, 2011

memories in Arlington

who looks at their kid,
fresh pink flesh of my flesh.
and thinks they will die
far from home, in some
hollow hole or hanging
erect on barb wire, in
blood on a beach, back up
floating in salt water
out of our reach---

these thoughts only haunt
parents' worst nightmares
as they dote and dash to
protect and fix every little
scratch life inflicts, with
hugs, band-aids & a kiss---

who looks at their love
and sees themselves in a
field of grass, broken only
by white, each to represent a
fresh, pink flesh of my flesh
and regardless of why they
were sent, they went &
never came back, leaving
you with a folded flag
& a three shot salute that
echoes in your ears---

these thoughts only haunt
family, spouse's & friend's
worst nightmares but through
the tears we are proudly salute
in our own inadequate ways of
saying 'thank you' & remembering

Memorial Day 2011

72 comments:

TALON said...

I don't think anyone does look at their innocent babes and visualize them protecting a country and putting their lives at risk - I know I didn't. My oldest son does and I'm proud of him and all the men and women who make that choice. There are no adequate words of thanks...

CM said...

You know, I've had to give a few death notifications in my career. I know that when those parents hear the news, they aren't thinking of the grown man or woman they have become, but of the day they were born, the tiny little being that God gave them.

And yes, we need to say Thank You, because without them, we would not be free.

moondustwriter said...

I guess I did because I was in the military and always talked about it - my son is thinking about becoming an officer.
You wrote a precious tribute thank you !!!

And thank you to each who served and each family who gave a loved one!

Bernie said...

How wonderfully expressed my friend. A great tribute to all those who have fallen and are fighting still......:-)Hugs

Teri said...

This is so poignant, Brian, on so many levels for me today as I read this. Having just experienced the birth of my granddaughter just days ago, you would never wish anything bad to happen to such an innocent (and pinked-flesh child as you say). I also think of my father's grave...a military grave in San Bruno, that on Memorial Day is decorated with row after row of flag, just as you show in your picture. And that is just one cemetery. There are SO many more all over the world. We need to remember them on this one weekend a year. Too bad they are not more prevalent in our every-day thoughts. Maybe if we could visualize what we might lose and how it hurts, we might be able to stop killing each other in senseless wars. All in the name of what? God? Land? Money? Oil? None of these can compare to that "pink flesh of my flesh."

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

What a beautiful poem for Memorial Day!

Sue said...

Well done, Brian! Have a great Memorial Day.

=)

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, I am back from my extensive weekend off, spend with the man I love endlessly. Coincidentally he is a professional soldier and is often deployed into dangerous places in the world, thus this post speaks volumes to me...
Happy memorial day dear friend,
xoxo

ladyfi said...

Very powerful writing!

Selina Kingston said...

It is important to remember. The arguments of why are, I suppose, for another day. For now we of course need to be thankful.
Beatuiful poem

Lydia said...

Brian, this is beautiful. One of my nephews is in Iraq, an officer involved in that weird "final stage" there. He is due home in June. His wife and kids will exhale afterward...

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Arlington meant only for heroes who came draped with the stars and stripes. The parents could only observe and wondered why?
A fitting tribute you have rendered here.

slommler said...

My good friend Paul was just buried in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe on Sat., May 29th!! To see all the tombstones made me cry! To see all the flags made me proud. To hear taps broke my heart!
Hugs
SueAnn

jabblog said...

Who, indeed? Beautifully written and a fitting tribute.

lucychili said...

yes and even so
for those of us
who are not pink =)

Dave King said...

A brilliant piece that to my mind does all it sets out to do - the second verse, especially. Very moving.

Dulce said...

MAn,
These thoughts I do not have only in nightmares...
I just can't imagine how they feel when they do not come back... it seems to belong to the other world... but oh how near that world is-damn it

Fireblossom said...

What disturbs me the most is that so many people have died or been injured in Iraq, or been separated from their families, just to serve one shallow man's ego.

Lorraine said...

circles around my heart and twists, the parents as brave as the son...sending healthy healthy love vibes
it's beautiful Brian

ayala said...

Important to remember...this is great, Brian.

Claudia said...

tears, a stomach turned upside down and a wild feeling of thankfulness for the brave men who risk their lives to protect their country. excellent brian

Brian Miller said...

true that lucy...from what i understand African Americans started the Memorial Day after the civil war for union soldiers...and war and death is indiscriminant...

Tabor said...

Thank you. You are blessed with great insight and the ability to put it into words.

Tara Miller said...

It's very moving to think of all those who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice in order for us to be free. Your poem is a beautiful way to express your thanks and honor these men and women.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Amen

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Amen

Daniel said...

Very nice tribute today. Nice work.

Boom Boom Larew said...

A beautiful tribute, Brian!

Bonnie said...

Oh yes. You say it for us all - and so well.

happygirl said...

Thank you for this Brian. I hoped you would write. I remember standing with my husband while we wed and he was in his uniform and leaving in a week for war and thinking... stay alive.

David Allen Waters said...

brilliant and powerful...great remembrance my friend

DJan said...

So beautifully written. I salute all of our brave soldiers who have fought wars they didn't start. The song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" keeps going through my head after reading your poem, Brian.

Corinna said...

a beautiful and fitting tribute.

tracy said...

Every year I look for the perfect Memorial Day poem. Eureka I think I found it! Happy Memorial Day.

adeeyoyo said...

There is nothing worse than to bury a child. And some of these children were also fathers and mothers. God bless them all...

annell said...

Good to remember...yet, so horrible, why can't we quit. Just say no...? No more war...I wonder.....

Pat Hatt said...

Yes remembrance and thanks should be given
For all those who provided us with how we are currently living
But enough should be enough soon
And put an end to war as it is no longer high noon
But again greed rears its head
So war is where one is lead

Valerie said...

Wonderful tribute to all the brave men. I grieve and I too wish we could end these wars.

Eva Gallant said...

You coined it beautifully! Thanks for putting wonderful words to our thoughts.

Sam!! said...

Hi Brian,

You gotta power in you words..so heart touching..great way to give tribute to soldiers..

Happy Memorial Day!!

Prayers,
Sam..

lori said...

it is such a harsh reality that we often shield ourselves from. Young men I once taught as children in summer camps are now 18, fighting in Iraq...it seems they don't belong in that situation. I can only imagine what their mothers feel.

and, mothers who have a folded flag to hold in their son's place...no words, only tears.

Laura said...

Oh, Brian...

ninotaziz said...

It is strange how another man's memories can shaken us to the core.

It is because we are human, and share the memories of mankind.

Nancy said...

Beautiful, and heartfelt. I simply cannot imagine sending my beautiful babies off to war. No more war, I'm done with it, no matter who says it's needed.

Mijayami said...

beautiful

Magpie said...

Very well said...nothing more to add.

Marinela said...

Really beautifully expressed. A great tribute to all those who have fallen.Enjoyed it :)

Bullying Poems

Reggie said...

A powerful and thought provoking piece Brian. You are so right on with this write.

Kaylen said...

So touching. I have a lot of military men in our family (no women yet!), but I never looked at my son and imagined him fighting for our country. It was never who I thought he was, and now, as a young man, it still isn't. I'm grateful for those who do choose to serve, but I'm selfishly grateful that mine did not have that calling...

Raven said...

Beautiful Brian. A touching tribute to those that gave their lives for their country.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

I've already commented on your wonderful poem. But I just came back to thank you for your fun contribution to this week's Limerick-Off!

hedgewitch said...

All too true, and all too little done for them afterwards if they live or die. The best way we could thank those who are serving today is bring them home to a country that needs them here more than there.

Margie said...

Brian, this is so beautiful!
My husband served in the military and I thank you for this lovely poem!
I loved it!

Margie :)

LauraX said...

Beautifully written Brian, truly honoring the courage of the young men and women who serve to protect us.

ds said...

Thank you, Brian. On behalf of the brother and brother-in-law who went to, and returned from, Iraq, and in honor of a man who went but did not return from Vietnam, thank you.

Betsy said...

Their sacrifice is immeasurable. We are so very thankful!

ed pilolla said...

great tribute. everyone joins the military for all the right reasons. the reasons our leaders give us for why we must use military power are universally lies, which makes the contributions of our family members all that more sacred.

Vicki Lane said...

I honor all who serve. But not so much those who send them.

C.M. Jackson said...

it is true --none of our children should have to go to war...beautiful tribute to those who have and to those left behind dealing with their loss...c

Unknown Mami said...

Way to get me all choked up.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Big sigh. That was sad and beautiful all at the same time.

Hope all is well with you. Cheers, jj

Syd said...

Brian, I so wish that it would not be necessary to send the loved ones to fight wars. Wars don't solve anything but do create so much heart ache.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing...I have to agree with every word that you have written, thought, and if I could hear you speak these words..."spoken."
DeeDee :-/

the walking man said...

My header picture is from Arlington. It is always the first place I go when I have to be in DC. Yes I see every baby and silently pray they never know war...fool that I am.

Steve E said...

Few Peeps love war

(Alexander was one--he wept on the shores of the sea, because there was no more land to conquer.

So why do we still do it? Is it really "the next right thing?"

Thank you Brian for a very sensitive write.

Lolamouse said...

Beautiful poem on a very difficult subject to contemplate. Thank you.

The Empress said...

oh, my gosh.

I can't see the keys here.

oh, that one made me burst aloud into tears.

who thinks, so right. who thinks.

Kat_RN said...

Can't type got tears in my eyes.
Thanks
Kat

wolfsrosebud said...

Beautiful said... like only a father could.

Hilary said...

Very.. very touching, Brian. A parent's worst nightmare.

haikulovesongs said...

well said!

Helen said...

Memorial Day ... you have written a poignant post .. a beautiful tribute to every person we lost.