Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember

I remember cold November days
standing at the cenotaph wondering why
adults wanted to keep such dreary thoughts.
Thoughts of death and war and darkness
in their minds.
Bored with old guys in berets
and taps
and smarmy looking boy scouts looking way too important
laying wreaths.

Only for a moment I would let my dad's brother enter my mind.
A man, a boy really, that I'd never met
for a moment on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Lest we forget
was crazy to me.
I thought it should be
lest we not forget.

Only for a moment I would let my dad's brother enter my mind.
A man, a boy really, that I'd never met 
for a moment on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Later, I was a hippy
and thought celebrating war, governments, countries
was a big mistake.
I wanted to celebrate peace, anarchy, the planet.

Only for a moment I would let my dad's brother enter my mind.
A man, a boy really, that I'd never met
for a moment on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Now I am three times the age he reached
when the plane he navigated spiralled down
somewhere over somewhere.
Three times the age of my Dad - boy pilot, three times the ages
of all those boys and girls who lost their lives
or their something - their trust, their goofy innocence anyway.

Today I will go to the cenotaph in a distant town
And I'll stand and watch the parade of wreaths, the marching old guys,
the lonesome trumpet sound against
the bare trees, against the grey sky.
my poppy thrown down with the others.

Only for a moment I will let my dad's brother enter my mind.
A man, a boy really, that I'd never met
for a moment on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.




Thank you Dad, thank you Baldy, thank you Arlo, thank you so much - all of you boys and girls in arms.

14 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

A wonderful tribute. Thanks to all the men and women in Canada for their service, as well as those in the US. Give Arlo a hug for me.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Mary Vaughn said...

The "old men" stand a little taller and walk a little prouder on these special days!

Carol Kilgore said...

Beautiful, Jan. They all gave so much.

Deb and Barbara said...

I followed Rayna here -- and became your 100th follower! How could I not? You're Canadian, a beautiful writer, and an online pal to a fellow online pal (or two!)

Nice to meet you, Jan!
Barbara
The Middle Ages

Jen Chandler said...

What a gorgeous tribute!

Rayna guided me over here. I'm very, very glad she did!

Wonderful to "meet" you and thank you for such a beautiful tribute to our service men and women.

Cheers!
Jen

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, Jan, you made me all teary! That was beautiful. It's easy, in our righteous indignation over wrongful causes to forget that the soldiers were brave and earnest. I know you are talking about WW2 vets, and there isn't the same controversy there, but even the soldiers sent today are serving for us.

I loved your poem.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Mason - I will. My dad is around too although in Ontario.
Yes they do, Mary. And so do the young men and women who've been serving of late. It is good to be acknowledged.
Carol - yep, they did. And without so much as a second thought for many of them...
Hi Barbara - YOU ARE SPECIAL - my hundredth follower! I'm going to have to think of something special for you! thanks for your sweet words...
Hi Jen - you make 101! My followers are dalmations. Yay! Thanks for your kind comment.
I made Tartlette cry? I'm proud. I dreamt that I met you and some of the other bloggers I'm friends with - last night! And woke to see your tribute to blogging pals. How cool. As to the controversy - not then but still now. Especially bomber command. Ah well. How does one know where to place the now in history?

Jude said...

Beautiful, Jan. Thanks.
Thanks, many thanks, Dad.

Talei said...

This is wonderful Jan, thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute.

Chary Johnson said...

This was absolutely beautiful and heart warming. A lovely tribute to those who help to make us safe.

Donna B said...

Hi Jan, I followed Rayna's suggestion to check you out and I am glad I did. Nice to meet you. Enjoyed your post. My Dad is 90. He is also a Marine who fought in Tarawa.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Beautiful! And well-put. Acknowledging the soldiers and their selflessness is always so important.

Anita said...

So nice of you to put your feelings into words and share them with us. Thank you!

Patricia Stoltey said...

This is wonderful, Jan. I have so many veterans in my family, but none were lost in battle. We have to remember to keep them all in our hearts and minds.