Mary E. Rogers


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: November 13, 2004
Awarded: November 13, 2004
On this cold November morning
An old soldier laid to rest
Within this hallowed ground
Reserved for America’s best

To America he was a hero
To Polly he was the love of her life
They shared memories good and bad
For 60 years she was his wife

For a year he laid in a nursing home
Parkinson’s stealing his life away
Polly sits right at his bedside
And everyday that’s where she’d stay

She woke up in the morning
Dressed and went straight to Ralph’s side
She stayed till late at night
Then alone on a dark country road she’d ride

There were times he didn’t know her
There were times he couldn’t hear
But Polly knew who he was
As long as there was breath she would be near

She leaned over his flag draped casket
Her tears fell upon the stars and stripes
To America he was a hero
To Polly he was the love of her life

Ralph and Polly Haines
In Honor of Polly’s undying love and in Memory of Ralph Haines ~ September 16, 1919 – November 4, 2004. World War II Veteran; recipient of the Purple Heart and Two Bronze Stars
Author’s Note: If you could have seen this little white haired lady…

She took her favorite Teddy bear and laid it on the pillow beside Ralph. I wondered why there was a teddy bear there when I walked in. It was a part of her that she could leave when she walked away at night, to get a few hours sleep. When I took Dennis to her house the night after he died, she was hugging the teddy bear. I will never forget her devotion and love to Dennis’ father.

She was taken to the hospital for her heart and the next day she was out and after missing one day, she was right back by Ralph’s side. A minister once told me that the definition of love is All of You, and None of Me. Polly exhibited that love and to me she is the example of the love that I want to give to Dennis.

As I wrote that poem I was the one shedding the tears. How empty her life must be right now. She can’t go to see Ralph, she lives all alone. I pray that God stays very near to her and that her life will be filled with Ralph’s presence and she will go on with the knowledge that she could not have given him any greater love than she did. My life will never be the same because of this dear lady.