This Sunday, November 11th, is Veterans Day. This poem is dedicated to all those who have served in time of war, and to their families who have suffered the pain of their loss.
Two by two and four by four
The brave young men all marched to war
Some wore green and some wore blue
And each one had a job to do.
She could merely stand and wave.
She told herself she must be brave,
That surely he’d return to her
And married they would be for sure.
Her true love brave in battle died.
With his last breath her name he cried.
Buried under foreign sand,
No more to see his native land.
She swore that with her dying breath,
If not in life, then fast in death
She would be joined forever more
To her true love who died in war.
She journey’d half a world away
To find the place her love did lay
With spirit steeled and visage grim
For that was all she’d left of him.
This thought alone consumed her mind
And yet his grave she could not find.
Until one day, so near despair
She met a man with long gray hair.
Bent and lame, a soldier old
Whose eyes still glittered, blue and bold.
“No more to weep, no more to cry
I know the place your love does lie.
I say to you by heaven above:
None fought so brave as your true love.
He was gallant, loyal, brave and true;
With his last breath he cried for you.
Just beyond that rocky hill
Lies your love buried, cold and still.”
She slowly climbed the hard terrain
Beyond which her true love was lain.
And when she finally reached the top
She felt her quickened heartbeat stop.
For there as far as she could see
Were gravestones to infinity.
All bore these words upon a plate:
“This one was sacrificed to hate.”
Past countless headstones carved the same
She ran and wept and called his name.
Long she searched, and long she tried,
Not finding him whose name she cried.
Too many deaths, too many tombs,
Too many crypts that held the doomed.
Forever more she’ll search the graves
To find the love she couldn’t save.
But silent stones forevermore
Will keep her love who went to war.
Stephen P. Smith