some lights

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

I called it
the way she unfolded her wings to
dry in the sun regardless of all
the madness
eating up the space
surrounding her

I had said to
the guy beside me – right before his
head left its proper place
I had said
“beauty gives no quarter”
I remember his quizzical look
whether it was
because of what I said
or some split second premonition
of his fate, I’ll never know

but that was years ago
far from the scarlet river
fed on blue blood
interpretations of morality

I’ve managed to learn how to
maneuver with the weight
of that time
masked whatever guilt
I held onto fairly well

I’ve been asked where all my medals
have gone
those cherished icons
of duty and honor
I just shrug the questions off

no one needs to know
they are buried beneath
the butterfly bushes
I planted by the fence out front

it was
my way
illuminating the dark

some lights
are meant
to burn alone


§ 2 Responses to some lights

  • Thomas Davis says:

    I understand this poem’s power. I have never gone to war, although I tried once, showing up at the draft office when there was a draft in the United States, and feeling disappointed when they classified me 4F and ineligible to go, but many of my friends were in Viet Nam and damaged there in one way or another and my father was at Angio Beach in World War II. My father never talked about the war–not an uncommon phenomena. When I was young I was interested, but all he would tell me, except for a brief story about how a frying pan was shot out of his hand, was that he mostly wanted to get through it to get home to my mother and his life. All my friends, most of whom are anti-war these days, compared to friends that did not go into the service and thus see the wisdom of war, pretty much have my Dad’s attitude. They do not forget, but, as this magnificent poem says,
    some lights
    are meant
    to burn alone
    I am deeply moved by this poem.

    • Thank you do much for your kind words concerning my poems. Both of my sons did tours in Iraq and afghanistan, and despite my old time hippie pacifist ways, I supported them in their decision. They are both home, safe and one is out of the service, the other out soon. An uncle of mine was a Japanese POW, he never mentioned the war. Again, thank you, I’m glad my work brought you some joy.

      Sent from a small cave in a vast woods

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