Post to the World, LLC

Eight years to the day, I was sitting on the deck watching the family across the street. The mother looked too young to be one, but she was teaching her infant to talk, encouraging her with words of how proud her grandfather would be if she said his name.

 Fourth of July, 2011

From across the street

she’s tanned with curls

in the heart of healthy days

she plays. Her small child’s

teetering, tries to speak

and she’s entreated, tell us!

say it, dear. Grampa! Say it.

Yes you are so precious!

Summer houses all in rank

swelling air and families

generations thick

on seven days of rented bliss

the strand strung from end

to end for parties, each

and every child and elder

playing fireworks and time.

Afghanistan is another

regimental battle flag

each hard rock place

stole someone’s dreams.

Stone survivor still

shadow by the door

searching to recall

just why the celebration.

Photos like a drill

ream his burning eyes, the bitter

dust, ruined like the stone

and deadly mountains

may never let him sleep

again, instead resumes his watch

she plays, his child and prays

the Fourth comes true.

Learning she is loved

where one is free of tyrants

free to walk a beach

to teach a child to speak

the need is not unique

though we are freer, they

may still walk in gorgeous

valleys hard by mountains

throwback to another time

as ancient as the ruins

death a constant sorrow young

as this year’s barren orchards.