By: William G. Muir
The Reaper did arrive,
Dressed in the uniform of a military officer,
Disbelief grips the father’s mind.
This can not be so,
He just read the word his son sent home,
Minutes before his son was alive,
Right there with him, in his living room.
No way could his boy be dead!
He was going to be his legacy.
A son does not die before his father does.
A father refuses to believe.
How could his son be dead?
How could the country he loved,
Allow him to die,
So far away from his home,
So far away from those he loved.
He died for a war that did not need to be fought,
His son has been stolen away from him!
A father’s anger begins to grow,
A father should not out live his son!
No father should have to bury his baby,
And if he ever has to,
He should at least get one more hug.
He should be able to embrace his boy,
One more time before he is gone,
To be able to put his arms around him.
He should be able to tell son that he loves him.
But this father’s son was murdered,
By a leader that did not care about him.
In a far away land.
He died alone.
Not a love one around him.
The father’s anger begins to consume him.
A tear rolls down his cheek.
A father’s sorrow over comes him,
His baby boy is dead,
How can this be?
The little boy he loved,
The baby he carried home in his hands,
The boy he watched playing in the yard,
The child he saw laugh and smile,
The child his heart broke for,
When he wiped a tear from his eyes
That son is now being lowered into the ground,
He can barely stand to watch,
As the earth swallowed his future.
Tears fill his eyes.
As the dirt starts to cover his son’s casket,
He grips tight to the flag they hand him.
It has become a symbol for his boy,
A sad reminder of a man that will never be!
Taps softly plays in the background.
Twenty-one rifles signals a finale salute,
This becomes the soundtrack for his grief,
A father’s heart breaks.
He can hardly take a step,
He begins to stumble,
Someone must help him to his car.
He can not muster the strength to go on.
Now the father has no son,
His only boy died way too young,
No heir to carry on his name,
The pride he felt when his son joined the Army,
Has now turned into sorrow.
Bitterness has moved into his heart,
His son did not need to die.
All the boy wanted to was provide for his family.
The father wakes up every morning,
So many years have passed since,
But the grief has not gone away,
It has only changed.
Once it felt like a knife had opened a wound.
Ripping out his heart and twisting his guts.
Now all he feels is numb all over.
He lifts his head from his pillow,
And tries to find the courage to live a normal life,
His hand hovers over the revolver,
The one he bought to end the pain.
One day he tells himself that he will do it,
That he will join his son in the here after.
But as he takes the gun in his grip,
Sticking the barrel into his mouth,
He can not pull the trigger.
Once again he fails.
He wonders what it is that keeps him here,
Why can he not just end it all?
Then he realize that it is selfishness moves him,
To live and carry on for his son,
To live the life that his son never got to finish.
He tells everyone he meets about his son,
The little boy that filled his life with joy,
Relating the tales of his boy’s adventures.
As he watches the smile that come over,
The face’s of the strangers he meets,
It lifts his spirits and makes life worth living.
Now he can go home and face his nightmares,
Knowing that tomorrow he will be able to wake,
And know that he will not be able to pull the trigger.