Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Youngest of These

As the sparrows in the loving arms of shelter

you huddle


Canons fire at the borders of your home

     and yet

               you don’t flinch

  for you know the sound; it soothes you,

          rocks you to sleep, to dream

of fields far away and nearby, where your protector

                     slaves in love, for his country, his homeland

    and yours.

You cannot always know the “why” of what he does

        and yet you’re proud


Standing at an attention of your own kind

        you know

   from the outside world, you’re not the same

they have police & grocery stores, convenience

you have MPs & commissaries, shoppettes

               it’s a different world

       and they’ll never know.

As he is promoted with full honor & bearing & grace

     and ceremony

             you watch

  learning of honor & bearing & grace

As he retires

               while – in the other world

                  a man leaving his job gets a watch and a

              “thanks and see ya (but won’t, of course)” dinner

               with kids at home with sitter or off away

     You are called to join

               stand in line beside him, quiet, respectful

          grace in its highest form

your protector, your personal hero

        receives with dignity a thank you & “we’re still here for you”

spouse & children, as well – always one

               a proud smile warms your knowing face while he

               accepts – with deep gratitude – his award

  and then

at his side

      you receive flowers, too

     for a military man never works alone

               his job is not only his – it belongs to all

         especially, it belongs to you

you who sacrificed

               moving homes

               leaving friends

               doing without your nightly hug because he’s away

           for days – months, eternity at times

               partnering with him, with your mom who pretends you

                              don’t know she cries

               becoming her strength as she gives hers to you

he can’t do his job without you

                   without knowing your job is harder

                   simple childhood is non-existent in your world

     you are so much more

more than they – those on the outside – will ever know

            or care to know

        you are the strong

                       the strength

                       the persevered

        you are the proud

                        the knowing, the heart

it is you for which he fights, fears, gives:

            sacrifice that he sees not as sacrifice

            but as “is”

You will always know what others will not

               -- sympathy & empathy are not the same

               you want no sympathy

               (only others like you can give you empathy)

you want only respect

                              hard earned

                              hard to truly find

    it is for you, for every part of who you are

           & what you will become

        for which he fights

                              it is all

               or nothing – he knows no in between

                 neither do you

for you he fights, for love

          & it is you who shows him what true love


The youngest of these pay for others’ sins

               & you are the proof of how beautiful that is

April is National Poetry Month, as well as the Month of the Military Child. This is for my children, and for military children everywhere.
©2010 LK Hunsaker. All Rights Reserved.


Cheryl said...

Hi Loraine,

Had to come read your poem--it is just beautiful. I love it! Don't ever say you aren't a poet again, girl! That's really good. I gotta get to bed. I will give the band a listen tomorrow. Hope all is well in your world. My house was burgled by one of the guys on the work crew here to do the remodeling--I'm dealing with that. As well as the fact my house is torn up from the remodeling. LOL But I bet I find time to listen to the band tomorrow, just the same. Again, great poem.

Happy Mother's Day

LK Hunsaker said...

Cheryl, how horrible! I hope it wasn't major and you get your things back!

And thank you, both for the compliment and for taking the time to stop by my blog. I so appreciate your constant support.

You have a wonderful Mother's Day, also. Hope your kids spoil you!