“An Ode to the Veterans”
Daddy served his twenty,
And Brother has just begun.
The life of a military family
Is an incomparable one.
Chances are I’ll never serve.
In a sense, I’ve served enough.
People often forget the families
That are left behind when times get tough.
The thing about military families
Is that Veterans Day is more than just one day.
Honor and respect is a daily occurrence
That doesn’t need to be asked for in any way.
Once a nation so proud, so noble –
We used to care about the ones we’ve lost.
Fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters:
That is the price that freedom costs.
We blind ourselves completely;
We turn away from the truths of war.
We claim our soldiers have support and love,
But what do we really stand for?
We cannot just ignore them,
Which is what we tend to do.
The men and women who stand for us –
Their public supporters are often few.
They are usually forgotten:
At home and far away.
Shake their hands and hear their stories;
Don’t keep looking the other way.
That uniform is more than clothing:
It’s a symbol of honor, so sincere –
Honor for serving one’s own nation,
And protecting the loved ones that they have here.
My friends, raise a glass to those heroes,
Wherever they may be,
And pray for protection on their journeys
As they protect the land of the free.
Give thanks to the Veterans,
And those who love them, too.
And when you see Old Glory flying,
Think about what she means to you.
I always wanted
For you to know
How deeply I cared
About you, my love.
And I always thought
The choice’d be mine
To say goodbye
When it became that time.
Yet, here we are,
And my heart is torn,
My eyes are wet,
And my body’s numb.
You simply left,
With no goodbye,
No second glance,
No farewell lines.
You were by my side,
For, oh, so long,
And now you’re gone.
Goodbye, my love.
You may bury me in the family plot,
Or burn me – spread my ashes near.
You may forget the life that I once sought,
And our memories that we both held dear.
But don’t think once that I’ll have regrets –
Fulfillment is a choice I’ve made.
A good life of mine, I do attest:
Surrounded by love, I gave the same.
The storms will pass, and the clouds recede,
To show the truth that lies ahead.
One must decide in her own deeds
To cut one’s own loose strands of thread.
Changing of Times
2016 Colton Review
Excuse me my anger, my annoyance, disgust:
Of the faux American pride that resides among us.
We say that we love, we’re sincere, and we’re free –
Well, unless you’re Muslim, woman, or in the gay community.
Generations do differ, that much is quite true:
The stories don’t change, but it’s now me and you.
We forget we have voices in the matters we seek –
When we aren’t hidden behind protective digital screens.
Where have you been, dear friends, during these changing of times –
Stuck behind your own invisible lines?
You say, “Help the troops,” and what do you do?
Forget them, ignore them, when it’s convenient to you?
And what of the children that starve everyday –
Are they a cause that would make you go out of your way?
We spend billions of dollars on unimportant things
Like an annual football game that awards flashy rings.
Step back from this podium you’ve allowed yourself to stand,
And open your eyes to all of our issues at hand.
With the American privilege, we ought to do more:
Foreign, domestic, and for our neighbors next door.
The first step, though, is accepting the truth,
And, yet – for us Americans – that’s something we won’t do.
2015 Colton Review
I used to think that I’d lose myself
If you ever went away.
I could walk and breathe life,
And yet I’d also fade.
I didn’t want to feel alone,
And all alone I’d always be.
That’s what upset me most,
But of course you didn’t see.
My dependence was obvious,
And I was always scared.
You knew it and abused it,
And now that much is clear.
What I thought was love truly wasn’t;
I didn’t know that then.
But, since you’ve been gone,
I’m doing better than I’ve ever been.
Isn’t it ironic?
We both thought you held the key.
You hated the pressure;
I expected a dream.
Looking back, I now understand
Why you needed to go.
Our dreams began to clash,
And I needed one of my own.
That is why I’m thankful
That you made me lose myself
Because, in the process,
I was finally found.
Truth remains unseen, untouched, uncared for –
The depths of imperfection define us,
A state of mind that we lock ourselves in,
Waiting patiently for another to unbolt, to liberate
The ideas that we can change the world.
Just as one waits on their death bed,
We shall sit and rest, doing nothing,
Knowing that we will soon get a reward
For the actions that we did not partake in,
That we were too frightened to even try for.
Think upon your lives, dear sisters,
And question your honesty.
How often do you soften your words
Or mislead another to believe in lies?
How often is there truth?
Not only to others,
But what about your own being?
Do you work to your fullest potential?
If not, then you are only lying to yourself,
Starving your soul of brilliant immortality.
Do not hinder your thoughts, your emotions,
To save your name from ridicule.
Do not turn your cheek to topics
That you may have a voice in.
While only one, you are more than none.
Time is a funny lad,
One who walks slowly as he strolls beside you,
But runs in full gallop as soon as you turn your back.
Things change, thanks in due to Mr. Time,
And so will you. And your pride.
If something makes you troubled,
If something makes you mournful,
Don’t just sit there, doing nothing.
Even if something makes you happy,
Or if something makes you proud,
It is time for you to belong to yourself.
Dear sisters, it is time to wake up;
It is time to be who you are destined to be,
Whether a coward or a hero or simply a shadow,
This is your time
To show the world your truth.
2014 Colton Review
My dearest Peter,
Please do not look so sad
You knew this time was coming
Don’t make me feel so bad.
My sweet Peter,
Don’t look at me that way,
Don’t make me feel guilt
For having to go away.
The flight was wondrous,
Your friends were not so kind,
But you made everything better
By being by my side.
My love, my Peter,
This is not my home;
I simply cannot stay –
You know I do not belong.
Please just listen;
Please hear my request
That you live your life freely,
Be adventurous, but rest.
You have given me such excitement,
And you’ve shown me to be brave.
The pirates were no match,
For the duo that we made.
But you, my Peter, are my childhood,
And for that reason I’ve outgrown
The world you’ve provided me,
The love that you have shown.
I can’t be your toy anymore;
I’m not your plaything, your doll –
I’m not something just to look at,
On my own, I’ll stand tall.
You can’t protect me anymore;
Growing up is what I must do.
You can’t hide me away.
Just know I’ll always miss you.
Tell the Lost Boys I’m sorry.
I know who you want me to be,
But that isn’t what I’m capable of –
I have to be me.
Although you won’t be with me forever,
I know that you’re always around.
I’ll feel you in the night breeze
On the balcony in my night gown.
If you ever miss me
Or just want to say hello
I won’t mind the visit;
Just come back through window.
Don’t let me forget completely
How much I loved you so,
But do not let me come back, either,
For this much, you owe.
Peter, I’ll see you again one day
In the eyes of my young kin
When they tell me of your adventures,
I’ll know where it begins.
There is no denying
That you’ll always be a part of me,
For you and I both know
That I’ll always be your Darling.