Karen M. Rice

DON’T FORGET ME, CHILD

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: June 29, 2008
Awarded: June 29, 2008
My name is Aaron, and I didn’t do much –
Just followed the General to Valley Forge and back,
But don’t forget me, child.

They calls me Reuben, and I ain’t much to speak of,
But ole by god Andy called on me at New Orleans.
Just don’t forget me, child.

Robert William here, no one you’d know –
Did spend time at Gettysburg and Shiloh.
Say, don’t forget me, child.

Alonzo’s what they call me, a no account southern boy –
Laid me down at First Manassas and never got up.
Please don’t forget me, child.

Richard is the moniker, and damn few knows it,
But old TR called it as we hit San Juan Hill.
I ask, don’t forget me, child.

Arthur is what I go by, not a remarkable name,
The chores I did at Chateau Thierry wouldn’t bring me fame,
Now, don’t forget me, child.

Hank’s the handle, just a good ole ‘Merican boy,
Went from Anzio to Normandy before I entered eternal sleep.
Hey, don’t forget me, child.

Ira’s the name, not many know it,
But it lays with me forever on Iwo Jima.
Pray, don’t forget me, child.

John they call me, when they do,
I was in Korea and Vietnam, too. Dirty little wars both.
Damn, don’t forget me, child.

Eric is how they call my name, like many another guy.
I went to Desert Storm and back again to the second Iraq.
Mind you, don’t forget me, child.

Alicia is her name, a tiny dark-eyed child; she stands alone and
holds a soggy buddy poppy in her plump fist while drums play
and flags fly. I’ll try, Daddy – I’ll try to remember your face and
your sacrifice.