Sacrifice didn't end "In Country"
One hundred nine years Passed between freedom's victory And your defeat. Never in my wildest dreams Did I think the two Would merge as one On the lawn of one of the players Beaten then over a century ago That was over twenty two years ago Like all kids I believed things never change Now many I love are gone No amount of wanting it different Stopped them from going on Kept things the way I demanded How do all these things go together? I found myself thinking as I walked miles Hobbled, my own end peeking around corners Well at first glance I realized you left behind two parents With decades to think where they went wrong I was older than you; I did not know this Holding you then to standards I learned only now Southeast Asia: Your father had to have been there Too many clues to think otherwise. How could he think the danger was here, 10,000 miles away Isn't it always this way with sacrifice? It extends far beyond what can be seen How your parents must grieve Over opportunities lost How many birthdays did he miss? Crawling in the red dust of foreign soil. To do all this and be ridiculed as a fool I was the fool! Now I can see When your world is so weak A child tries to act strong But we are not antelope or deer Or some other fast of foot Our young find strength in speed of image This is what brought you down "You are the company you keep" How could you really know that then? One with a murderous sickness so deep would betray you With smug satisfaction I cherished your insults Thinking about your just desserts Food for worm and maggot Revenge is the poison I was the one wounded You were safe with The Father of all mercy Oh, in no way did he like what you were doing When your heart collapsed long ago But labels are our's not his In fact until today, At least regarding this matter I was much more in danger than you I put on uniform for God and Country For a short time The sacrifice of your father And of all fathers lived in me So in this panorama of tour mobiles and jet planes I came to seek your forgiveness For hating what I did not understand In fact isn't that the essence of all evil? How to merge things, not a poem to sell but proclaim My greatest sin has not been avarice or lust No I seethe in being the victim Because of this I rejoiced at your downfall Wanting to dance upon your remains Tell the girls we competed for This is what you get trying to be a new Jesse James All because once you called me a name With a grin on your smiling face Then I thought your passing one of my few triumphs Now, today, I am seeking forgiveness At not letting myself understand That this was a sacrifice of your father One too often kept secret from this nation For truly to see your son die Because too often you could not hold him To have him see you ride your bike the first time All at once I knew At first I was not going to go there Yet, passing the sacred place of the Unknown What should have been obvious hit me This was not a matter of a few lost people A few no one could figure out No they were only symbols A mile I must of walked A grand panorama of our symbols Then off to the side in an area of no interest to tourists The truth hit me over the head Hundreds of rows marked: " Unknown " Most of these from just before that April long ago The Anniversary you died on It is not because of handshakes or favors we still are First is the Grace of God we have not all perished in atomic fire Being just a little bit older I remember that time did you? No, your father like my father and myself Came to realize a world bigger than ourselves Many times shaken Especially before so many April Ninths ago All these men in blue Lying here simply because of blood tainted blue clothing Did they fight so I might enjoy a lifetime laughing Saying at least that one got what he deserved No, shamefully I must admit I love my anger I hope today the Our Father I said with you Will heal a fight between brothers I wish more people could come here: alone without camera There are no spooks or demons here Although real, their realm is this life time Names such as avarice, poverty, and tyranny adorn them No, in this cynical time It is said that no one believes in anything Tens of thousands of stones say otherwise Of course in the fullest sense Most of these people did not die In the heat of battle as you did The battle your earthly parents must always fight No matter when the time comes tho, old or young Let this be our resounding canon: To reject ideas that there is no hope borne on these Early autumn winds amidst the trees and beacons of our freedom
53-962 by A. Cherer Copyright 1996 all rights reserved