My 300th poem -dedicated to servicemen and women

Summer refused to leave,
we caught it lingering just
outside the kitchen window;
squeezing sweat from our brows,
gluing legs to chairs and keeping
papa under the shadow
of a weeping willow.

Could he hear mama crying
over news about Johnny?
Or notice family and friends
stopping by to eat her fried
chicken and pecan pie
while paying respects?
I wonder if he looked into
her cloudy eyes, red as
when she told Johnny and
me how he lost his mind,
blaming it on what some
couldn't admit was a war.

I'm sure he heard the words,
"Your son is missing in Iraq,"
since I swore he asked the uniformed
man, with eyes as kind and red as her's,
"after you find my son, please look
for both my legs, they can't be
far from where he is now"

Mama blamed the rising temperature,
told me go inside and don't argue;
I tried to convince her he finally
spoke after almost a year;
things heating up fast round here.

My heart's breaking for my brother,
so tonight I'll open his window,
hoping he'll climb back in and
finally rest in peace after
sneaking out and joining the
army on his last birthday.

Not fair to blame him for that,
wasn't much for him to do around here,
except to weep for eighteen years
under the shadow of his purple hearted hero.

BY: Carla Procida