Mark I. Kirkmeyer

HER CENTURY

The little girl saw the cheers
Doe Boys coming home
None would have to go again
The soldiers and sailors won
The war to end all wars

She lost everything
Xmas gifted hand knitted socks
Worked for almost nothing
Learned to survive
In the Great Depression

Her husband worked WPA
Fitting pipes for the aqueduct
Carry water from the Great Red River
Watering the City of Angels
Los Angeles Aqueduct

Listened close to the radio
The President reports
The treacherous attack
On American soil
Pearl Harbor

Her husband unfit to fight
Fitting pipes on the ships
Replacing ships lost
No matter what the cost
The fight goes on

Her brother learned to fly
B-17 long and high
From London to Berlin
Fire burns cities
Many die

In the early morning light
She witnesses the flight
A lone enemy plane
Mitsubishi Zero
A friend comes home

Her sons kiss her goodbye
Join the capitalist-communist fight
The Peninsula of the Hahk
Surviving the bitter cold
Both sons come home

Peaceful change
And violent protest
As the melting pot opens
Demanding change
Equality on paper

She felt very lucky
Her son returned from the jungle
Missing one finger
Carrying metal chunks
She gave enough

Domestic violence
Disenfranchised fighting back
Tanks roll
Street of American Cities
Civility “restored”

Violated the protection
Given to guests
Her eldest grandchild
Boards a helicopter
Raid never finished.

She cried tears of pride
Her grandson picked her up
At the airport Thanksgiving Day
Army dress greens and Green Beret
Going south fighting drugs

Another fascist rises;
Using weapons of cruel death
Stealing land from neighbors
Grandson goes to “victory”
Mission not done

She sits awe struck
Watching the flames
From the crash
As the second plane hits
World Trade Center

The Green Beret
Is called back to duty
Domestic violence:
City burning, battle zone
Returns hard hearted

“Those bastards”
Grandson almost cries
“Don’t worry.
We’ll rebuild, did before”
“Get the bad guys.”

Great Grand-daughter’s husband
Goes to finish what grandson didn’t
Enemy unseen, damage deadly
Street erupted spraying death
Flag draped coffin.

Baby cues in her arms
Fifth generation future hope
Tears of joy crawl on cheek
Bright eyes, glowing cheeks
Innocence alive

Her birthday 100
“Ready to move on”
“Seen the good and bad”
“Seen the rerun”
Time is done.