Gary Jacobson

WARRIOR WIVES

Anne Margaret Lane Thigpen
Anne Margaret Lane Thigpen: 1945-2007
Wife of Vietnam Veteran
Walter Talmage “Thig” Thigpen
War leaves its horrible mark on warrior souls
As a warrior’s wife with forever nightmarish terror cajoles
Warrior and wife apart… for each other wept
Each facing death’s specter each anguished step
Constantly reminding in fevered mind kept
Grievous horrors in each mind leapt
Suffering war’s tragic slings and arrows
Dealing with a helmet-full of sorrows
Fearing darkness in nightmarish dreaded jungle
Looking askew from every angle
For death’s minions can come from anywhere
To the fabric of sweet life tear
Life carries stresses of abiding fear and prayer
Hiding deep brooding tears that show we care
For a warrior and wife bearing sickle and scythe
Bloodthirsty gun or knife.

But no matter for warriors how bad… how utterly sad
The pain is somehow worse for warrior wives
Living and smiling through war’s harsh abrasives
Waiting for her man-of-war… so helpless, waiting…
For every day, every night, she feels all things
Feels worse with fear not knowing brings
Feeling intimately each dagger of horror
Screaming silently in her heart of desperate terror
Every day, she walks the walk beside her loved one
Sleeping each fitful night fearing knife or gun
Boring into her soul her rising sun… her beloved one
Fearing darkness of dreaded jungle she has not seen
Fearing death’s minions who from anywhere careen
To snuff out the light in her beloved’s eyes
To her sweet pure love cannibalize.

Waiting helplessly, the wife of the warrior’s waiting
Waiting… knowing she cannot protect him
Each day dying inside… hope fading dim
Knowing there’s nothing she can do to save him…
His life… his fate, only in the hands of God’s of war
To whom she doth with every breath breathed implore
In dreams… so far from loving arms
In dreams… walking in variegated field of harms
Remembering faintly his loving charms
Fading memory ebbing… aching
Each day strongly the memory rebuilding
Waiting… so helplessly, she’s waiting…
Longing… so deeply she’s longing
Praying that he will return to her bastion of love
Fervently pouring out her soul to God above…

“God, protect him… God, save him…
Do not lay him ‘neath foreign ground.
God, bring him back to me safe and sound.
God, bring him back, regardless of grievous wound.
Oh, just bring him back. Just bring him back!”
She fretted with him… fought beside him.
Her sweet love too, upon his beleaguered soul pour
His torn and ragged heart cure
His damning memories obscure.
Knowing her love will all hurt heal
If I can just get him once again to feel;
Together, we will never forget…
Remembering lost childhood, lost brothers,
Sunrise to sunset
But changed forever… can we ever pay their debt?
Can we ever live without regret?

Anne Margaret Lane Thigpen, so loved her man
Thig, so far, far away, in jungled Vietnam
With passion gone to do his All-American duty
Fighting for brave justice in liberty
With the support of his young wife-next-door
Dreamed dreams of the war eagle, this boy-next-door
Just doing his patriotic chore…
She bravely smiled, dreaming of how she would miss
Her man’s soft gentle kiss
The embodiment of heart and love
The blessed miracle of soul-caring given from above
Best friends, married at eighteen
Thig and his beloved queen
With eternal love never changing
Slings and arrows of life and war never altering.

“Talmage, you just come home to me and your son
Stay safe in Vietnam’s land of the gun”
She entreated with burning passion in her eyes
Warming Thig’s heart beyond what he could realize
For somehow she knew… she knew
He did not know what he was getting into
Not understanding consequences of the devil’s brew
But she knew… yet let him go too
Because it was something he had to do
For a man stands when called
To relieve suffering of a people by tyranny galled.
She put on a brave front in silence she suffered
Her supporting determination by love’s tears buffered
A good woman, my wife
She is my very heart… my life.

Memory of her voice like a bird so sweet
Memory of a wife so lovely and petite
He kept locked in fevered mind discreet
She buoyed him up to fight the Vietcong
To sing the somebody done freedom wrong song
She made this soldier’s lonely heart sing
She was indeed the wind beneath his wing
Lifting him proudly higher than a king.
Anne Margaret prayed, like an angel prayed,
“Lord, I need Thee every hour, but he needs You more,
God protect my man Thig. Oh save him You died for.”
She changed the oil, did the plumbing, mowed the yard
Her loving support from home Thig’s lifeguard
Showing her man naught but good cheer
Hiding grievous pain that her poor heart did sear
Making music to drown hard silence known for a year.

Anne Margaret dispensed down-to-earth wisdom
To her man far away in Vietnam
She gave strength to make it through.
She gave courage when Thig was blue
Though sorely she missed his hugs, kisses too
Especially during long nights alone in their bed
Caressing the pillow where her man laid his head
Spilling tears softly on her gold wedding band
Remembering her loved one fighting in a foreign land.
So Thig made it back on a wing and a prayer
To his love, Anne Margaret, waiting sweetly there.
Thig so proud of his wife, honest always to a fault
You better not ask her what she thought…
Because she’d tell you! like as not
Laying it on the line what you’d wrought.

She sang at American Legion halls and veteran places
Bringing angelically loving smiles to lonely faces
Warbling like an angel on the wing
On the Grand Old Oprey stage she did her thing:
“Are there any veterans out there?
When performing, she always asked everywhere,
For I am married to a Vietnam veteran!
Stand up Veterans of any war, in any land of the gun
Stand up so we can say, ‘Welcome Home’
‘Welcome Home’ from lands bleak and darksome
‘Welcome Home’ from lands of shock and awesome
To sons of war feeling abandoned and alone
Bearing Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.”
Thig told her, this made him cry;
Remembering a place where part of him did die
So asked her not to…
But she said “Talmage, I do this because I love you.”

“I love you too, Anne Margaret!
That I did not tell you more often, my only regret;
My beloved, now it’s you gone so far away
To a far land, where I hope to join you someday
Now it’s you leaving me behind to pray…
To an angel gone before to prepare the holy way
My angel flown to heaven’s royal courtyards above
Now sitting on the right hand of God’s infinite love
Gone but not forgotten, the music you used to play
It’s hard to bear empty silence since you’ve gone away.
But now you sing with choirs of angels in joyful array
A right heavenly gig
Just remember always thy Thig…
Trying so hard to hold wisdom’s courage you gave me
Hiding the pain of parting till we fulfill our destiny
I’ll find strength you taught me, somehow
Wiping away tears from my fevered brow
I miss you. I need you. I love you!”