Gary Jacobson

FOR HER

LT led the discussion to old war horses expressively salient
Concerning war’s traitorous gifts reminiscent
Vietnam residuals still gripping today luminescent
Talking the talk of daily deadly ravages
Where we still walk the walk facing savages
Reviling war’s post-traumatic grief and strain
Diabolical memories men who fought retain
Railing at that fiendishly insidious black snake
Slithering to infect the good life forsake.

LT pointed to her… Sitting so solemn there
Prim and proper in a back of the room chair
Without a dram of fear in her eyes
Too young to the realities of war realize
Emblematic of her generation.
She listened as old warriors in veneration
Crossed swords with demonic ogre’s omnipresent.
She was so sweet… oh so very innocent.

She listened to soldiers who carried the red, white and blue
To far foreign shores damps and dew…
for her!
For her warriors fought the ogre-ish beast
Resonate in frenzied killing feast.
For her we humped the jungles of hell
Old warrior’s stories will tell
Borne in naïve dreams we did it all…
We fought and some of us died
To earn our place on a long burnished wall…
for her… For her!

For her we took on worlds of anguished pain
Facing apparition’s forever pointing fingers of blame
Nightly dancing with the devil’s daughter
With ghosts of dead brothers we eye the slaughter
Beside sworn enemies seen into biting dreams careen
Chagrined memories swirl ‘round “boys next door”
Who nightmarish death in the mud and the blood abhor
Men still humping with legions of the abandoned lost
Still counting war’s damnable cost.

We fought these demons not for ourselves… but for her!
We were her big brother…
We thought we fought to make her future secure
We thought we fought to make her political justice sure
Parading, oscillating… vacillating vets in dizzying rhyme
Marching out of step throughout illusory time
To establish a better way in a brighter day… for her!
To create a better world… for her!

For her
We rolled war’s wanton dice
That Because of our sacrifice
She might live a better life
Free at last from a father’s toil and strife.
We hope our sacrifice wasn’t in vain
For we marched to war’s carnage in suffering pain
Wagered our lives to greater freedoms attain
Hoping her, and her generation, might peace obtain.

Yet is not war’s vibration still ringing
Skimming vapid air still singing
Wafting on the winds of time still winging?
Did we insure a better America… for her?
Did we insure a brighter future… for her?
Does she our toll paid for her realize?
That for her we did moral values cannibalize?
Does she even conceptualize?

Will she shake off the foul ogre’s greed
Repudiate the past’s killing seed
Nourish honor of the meek
Demand to greater knowledge seek
Deep awareness of the suffering of others understanding
Coupled with the wish to relieve it through loving…
Just loving. To greater compassion impart
To grow true longing for peace in a loving heart…

What do we want for her
For who we went into that dark cruel night of danger
We want her to have the joys we had as youth
We hope she will never have to raise her hand in anger
Not unappreciative as too many callow youth uncouth
We want her to be humbly grateful for wagered sacrifice
To recognize why in war we threw those dreadful dice
Winning honor for her in peaceful tenure benefice
Will the price we paid for tranquility in serenity suffice?

We want her to have the good life we knew as kids
To forever enjoy freedoms a dictator forbids
To learn from, and not repeat fated history
Reveling in the sheltering arms of proclaimed liberty
Giving respect for values people today think old fashioned
Forever giving honor to spirits on a sacred wall blazoned
Names carved from cruel battlefield’s in brotherhood…
for her!
The fruits of the liberty tree stained by heroes’ blood…
For her!