Dec 10, 2005

A Flag and a Purple Heart

Robert E. Ringleben Posted by Picasa

My grandmother wrote this poem after her brother was killed in action in WWII. She had it published a couple of times. It has been running through my head a lot lately, so I thought I would share it, and in doing so, relieve myself of the perseveration.


They sent a flag and a Purple Heart--
You were killed in action, they say.
But I can see you more clearly than when
You were only a week away.

You walk at evening along the lane,
Your handsome dark head bare.
When the baby runs to you, laughing,
You swing her in the air.
She rides, high on your shoulder, and twines
Her fingers in your hair.
She isn't a baby, but a big girl now. You'd be
So proud of her.

You stop and kneel beside the boy
When he asks you to string his bow.
Careful and patient, saying, "Son,
I'd better show you how,"
You teach him what you could quickly do:
You wanted him to know.
Ah, he needs you so. You wouldn't know him.
He's grown so tall.

You will never be broken and old,
Bowed with sorrow or pain,
But forever laughing and young,
You walk along the lane.
The children run to meet you, happy
That you are home again.
But they say you were killed in action and sent
A flag and a Purple Heart.

No comments: