Charles J. Ingerson

HOW CLOSE
(Memorial Day – 2004)

(Prelude:

Within history
there so found
war’s mystery
without a sound.

Records kept
decision so made
while many slept
in dreams to wade.

How close did
wars so come
from sight hid
not from some?)

How Close I

Trumpets playing
drums beating slow
memories staying
flames still glow.

Soldiers crying
tears as the dew
so many dying
allegiance true.

How close today
peace to lose
or just far away
each war to choose?

USS Cony (Cuba)

Tipped the torpedoes
nuclear and armed
doors opened
a crew alarmed.

None knew above
a captain’s fear
couldn’t imagine
death so near.

Flash points seen
nano-seconds long
holocaust or calm
found by the strong.

Lexington (American Revolution)

Facing sure death
to run or to stay
history determined
in blood this day.

Most sure afraid
sweat pouring down
freedom’s price
in soldiers found.

Antietam (Civil War)

A lost message
in a fire found
giving the plan
of the battle ground.

Troops moved quick
death to awaken
not a day’s delay
earth to be shaken.

Killing fields alive
courage then alone
moments rewritten
many not to go home.

How Close II

Favoring the past
hindsight viewed
peace never to last
history so skewed.

A word slipped
a cigarette lit
a meeting skipped
a soldier more fit.

Death and life
balanced amid
wars unholy strife
or negotiations bid.

D Day (WWII)

1942 was the cry
attack when ready
yes men will die
wars course steady.

Not yet proclaimed
learned in WWI
soldiers to be trained
for this to be won.

Waited two years
then the big day
how many less tears
a concerned delay.

So Many More

History is replete
where a moment
made war complete
leaving a monument.

How close disaster
unknown by many
events moving faster
unaccounted plenty.

So many more known
suffice all to know
wars themselves grown
within the candles glow.

(Epilogue:

Returning to the past
one finds oft stories
in wars fought fast
hallowing its glories.

The moment’s pause
reflection of the mind
did changes cause
disasters to remind.

Feeling the divine
knowing love to clutch
promptings intertwine
how close to touch.)