Bobby's Poem

by Leonard Fox


It was a day like any other,
Awash in the glow of the morning sun.
A day of fulfilling life's obligations.
Of work and errands to be run.

When at her door she hears a knock.
And as she peeks outside,
An icy chill runs through her.
For a desperate moment she yearns to hide.

For standing there at her front door,
On this morn once so serene.
A grim-faced man waits patiently,
Dressed in Army green.

In gentle tones he breaks the news,
"Ma'am, I deeply regret to say,
I've been informed that in Iraq,
Your son died yesterday."

He offers heartfelt condolences.
But the mother no longer hears.
With trembling hands she closes the door,
As her eyes well up with tears.

The greatest dread has come to pass.
The silent fear suffered all along.
And nowhere is there one to explain,
Why her baby boy is gone.

Numb with sorrow she takes out,
A treasured family book,
Filled with all their pictures,
And once more takes a look.

Wasn't it only yesterday,
In the night so dark and deep,
That she cooed how much she loved him,
As she rocked her fretful babe to sleep?

Wasn't it only yesterday,
That she helped him learn to walk?
That she wiped his dirty bottom?
That she shared his baby talk?

Wasn't it only yesterday,
That she sent him off to school?
That she did her best to teach him,
To observe the Golden Rule?

And wasn't it only yesterday,
That he took her by the hand,
And said, "Mom, I'm going to be a soldier."
All too soon her boy a man.

Some go out of a sense of duty.
Some for the benefits and pay.
Still others find much needed direction,
In the military way.

They fully understand the risk,
In what they train to do.
In Iraq there are no guarantees,
That a soldier will make it through.

But a soldier rarely dwells on this.
As he goes about his job,
Be it helping feed hungry children,
Or facing down an angry mob.

It is the life of an American Soldier.
A sometimes painfully thankless task.
All they want is our respect.
Surely this is not too much to ask.

Some will say, "He gave his life..."
But that is far from true.
For from this boy sweet life was torn,
And there was nothing he could do.

For he had no say about it.
He dutifully went where he was told.
And a coward's bomb makes no distinction,
Among these young men, strong and bold.

Children are supposed to bury their parents.
'Tis the natural order of life.
But now many a mother and father lament,
A child lost to war and strife.

Each newly grieving mother mourns,
As the death toll ever climbs.
From mother's womb to a hero's tomb,
In far too short a time.

Now before her sits his coffin,
As a soldier, stiff and mute,
Offers her a folded flag,
And a solemn last salute.

In her window hangs a banner,
Bearing a simple golden star.
More eloquent in its testament,
Than any poet by far.

A bright young boy of twenty-three,
Barely old enough to shave.
His laughter stilled forevermore,
In the silence of the grave.

He was an American Soldier,
The pride of a grateful land.
Caressed now for all eternity,
By God's strong and loving hand.

And surely there will come a time,
In this abode of angels, meek and mild.
When the mother's grief shall turn to joy,
As she once more holds her child





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