Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Soldier

Ed Coet


I saw a burial with a bugler playing taps;
I turned to my father, “what happened?” I asked.
He clutched my hand and with a quiver in his voice,
he began to explain and his eyes became moist.

“My son,” he said, “this is rather difficult for me;
for an old veteran like myself this is tough to see.
In that coffin lies a genuine patriotic warrior,
an honest-to-God hero, an American soldier.

I appreciate that soldier and the service he gave,
and I honor his sacrifice as he’s laid in his grave.
He was honorable, selfless, courageous, and bold;
please remember him son, as you grow old.

The value of his service, I must explain,
if not remembered, will be lost in vain.
As a nation we’re nothing without soldiers like him;
and failing to remember would be a terrible sin.”

I listened in awe as my father spoke,
it seemed as if his heart were broke.
I suddenly remembered when he went to war,
and when he returned I thought nothing more.

I never asked why he walked with a limp,
and I didn’t care about why he was sick.
I was too busy enjoying the life that I had,
to realize that I had it because of dad.

I finally understood what my dad was about,
and it hurt so bad I cried out loud.
He sacrificed so much so I could be free,
and his battle scars were suffered for me.

It was my father’s spirit that spoke to me that day;
thank God I finally understood what he had to say.
I saluted his coffin as they laid him to rest,
and I thought about the medals pinned on his chest.


That I didn’t honor him sooner, I will always regret;
and I pledged that day to never again forget.
I’m proud that my dad was a patriotic warrior;
I’m honored to be the son of an American soldier.

***

Ed Coet is a retired US Army officer. He is also a professional educator and a published freelance writer and poet. Ed Coet has had numerous articles published on a wide variety of topics. His hugely popular and top-rated article "Testimony of a Suicide Survivor" can still be read on Soldierworks.com, Amazines.com and Ezine articles.com. Ed Coet’s short story, "David’s Angel," will be published in the popular ezine Bewildering Stories (issue 234) in the February 26, 2007 edition. His poems have been published or have been accepted for publication in Purple Dream Ezine, Solder Works Magazine, Children, Churches & Daddies Magazine, Scars publication, Steller Showcase Journal, Both Sides Now Journal, Because We Write Magazine, Author’s Den Ezine.

© Ed Coet

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012