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I, Too, Sing America (and did so in my diapers!)
by Michael R. Burch

I, too, served my country,
first as a tyke, then as a toddler, later as a rambunctious boy,
growing up on military bases around the world,
making friends only to leave them,
saluting the flag through veils of tears,
time and time again ...

In defense of my country,
I too did my awesome duty –
cursing the Communists,
confronting Them in backyard battles where They slunk around disguised as my sniggling Sisters,
while always demonstrating the immense courage
to start my small life over and over again
whenever Uncle Sam called ...

Building and rebuilding my shattered psyche,
such as it was,
dealing with PTSD (preschool traumatic stress disorder)
without the adornments of medals, ribbons or epaulets,
serving without pay,
following my father’s gruffly barked orders,
however ill-advised ...

A true warrior!

Will you salute me?

I hope my “small” attempt at humor will help readers remember the sacrifices made by the spouses, children and extended families of our valiant servicemen and women. It was not easy making friends only to lose them, time and time again, as I grew up a “military brat” on American air bases around the globe. I really did make sacrifices for my country, while winning every battle against the “communists” in our back yard.

Keywords/Tags: Memorial Day, military brat, service, war, duty, honor, heroism, soldiers, army, navy, air force, marines
Aŧül May 12
The bonfire is lit warm,
It is comfortable as a quilt.

We look at the photos,
Inside of our wallets.

The parents, the wife and kids,
Probably for the last time we kiss.

Tomorrow is the final battle,
We make a treatise with death.

Either she takes the novice boys,
Or let us send them to her.
My HP Poem #1928
©Atul Kaushal
Where the dead lie the flowers grow,
The trees shoot tall and the winds blow.
Resting in their eternal peace,
Memories live on and never cease.
Weathered stone and faded names,
At home, broken pictures in broken frames.
The woosh of an aeroplane flys overhead,
To honour their sacrifice and salute the dead.
For they have died so we might be free,
Lives lost inland and those at sea.
For we recall all that they gave,
As we whisper quiet prayers beside the grave.
©️ 2021 Joshua Reece Wylie. All rights reserved.
Inspired whilst reading tombstones of fallen soldiers at Irthlingborough cemetery next to the church. Reading and performing Wilfred Owens war poems at London College of Music first got me interested in the theme of war in poetry.
Simone13 Aug 2018
down the Valley
where the river flows
flocks of graves
swarmed with crows

ashes to ashes
turn dust to dust
where their metals lei
and turned to rust

stenches of blood
screams and decay
where wasted sheds
are left astray

down the Valley
where the river flows
are plumps of graves
where flowers grow
AnxiousOcean Dec 2020
I have been writing poems
As if I am forging my own armor
Yet it seems that what I have made
Is more than just a hefty covering
But layers of sky-piercing barriers
And armies of unfamiliar soldiers
With their faces reflected in mine

Yet with all these defenses
It still won't be enough

For the words I bleed fail to nourish
The wise owl I aspire to become
And the weakest of the weak
Isn't invisible behind thick walls
Nor will he ever be invulnerable
To the crippling echoes from outside
And to the storms he sewed himself

But as I am doomed to break
I will always be bound to fall as well
Down the rabbit hole of poetry
Kathleen Nov 2020
If you should ever come my way , just pause a while and stay
For many years I have lain
I once was young and unafraid

Fearless was my middle name
Left my familiar land of green
To a far more desert land

No birds sang
No flower raised its head
For all was dead

We reached the ravaged land
Not knowing what we would find
Only a red thin line that stretched  and grew

Knee deep in mud and topped with snow
We knew it would be slow
Huddled together to keep some warmth
Amongst the chatter

Lonely voices wept
And the months crept
Still no sign of a end
I lost many a friend

When days are long and nights even longer
The dreams of home are all you have
To return is all you desire

But here I lay
On pastures past
In a country I do not love
Many more beside me
So stay a while and cast your mind to a bright summers day  
When I was young and unafraid and
Fearless was my middle name
Kymie Oct 2020
Forged in a fire of brotherhood and violence;
Branded and tempered,
you are  called to service.

You step to the front;
relinquishing your home
and dawning the armor of duty and honor.

You feel your heart beat and you know that the tempo does not belong to you.
Your very breath contracted to the country to which you offer your allegiance and life.
Who casts you forth to a world that neither knows or cares who you are.

Who will remember you when this is done?
Who will know what happened here?
You are a piece of a whole;
Parts welded together by the hell that burned you up together and molded soldiers out of the ashes.

And as you kneel before the field of battle;
You take courage in the boots beside you.
You pray because you know that the ultimate sacrifice is not always made by the soldiers who die.

19 OCT 2020

Kymie Oct 2020
I’ll forever remember your hands
as they slide along the smooth metal.
Like an extension of a part of you
that you have touched a million times.
A directed movement without intention;
But filled with intensity.

Your stance conveys a confidence
that is absent in the life you inhabit.
You pretend to be human
until you step into this sanctuary.

This church where you worship is one of
bullets and defiance.
I close my eyes and I can smell the
gunpowder and sin that is uniquely you.
The commandments of this God
are etched on your mind.
Procedure drips from your skin like sweat.
You bleed accuracy and precision.

As you breath in the sites
I can see that you have settled.
Your universe has narrowed to
the target in front of you.
Five feet or a thousand
There is no difference.
The round is a slave to your movements
Your very will dictates his beginning and end.

When your finger squeezes the trigger
I know I have lost you.
The recoil is a natural motion;
Compensated for at birth and dismissed;
like breath expelling from your lungs.

I find that I am jealous of the trust you
have put in the round that has just left you.
You know where it is going;
And you show no surprise when it
follows your instructions exactly.

How could I ever understand you
the way this object does?
Inanimate to me;
But essential to you.
She is the wife;
And I the mistress.
For I may yet learn your mind;
But I can never inhabit your soul.

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