Judith L. Floyd

EMPTY VISIT

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: January 26, 2004
Awarded: January 26, 2004
A cold wind blows and scuttles leaves
about the brittle grass
an old man huddles in his coat
a shiver comes to pass
a woman takes his hand in hers
and looks into his face
together they recall the things that brought them to this place
A summer day, they said goodbye
to a young man they both knew
their tears were filled with fear and pride
but he knew what he must do
He held them both and smiled at them
but would not say goodbye
“I’ll see you soon” was all he said as a tear fell from his eye
So now they sit together and recall him as a boy
delighted and delightful, he was their only joy
Now all grown up a hero, he finally has come home
back to fields and forests
which in his boyhood he would roam
The couple turn their gazes up as snow falls from the sky
knowing that the son they love will always be nearby
They turn to leave as icy winds blow the freezing rain
that coats the polished marble stone
that bears their soldier’s name