Christina A. Sharik


Solemnly, they knelt
and placed a hand
on a boot ~
they bowed their heads
and prayed
and said goodbye
to friends, each one a brother ~
a Band of Brothers
standing tall,
sons of mothers;
the bills of their caps
pulled down
you could not see
their eyes~ they
were in shadow
but you know they
are sad, you know…

The fourth Marine,
as yet unnamed~
because his family had
“not yet been notified”
What a difference
a few words can mean.

Notified –
“Not yet” notified
perhaps a box checked
off some military form
paperwork becoming the norm…

Not yet, not yet
Oh God, don’t tell
his mother
that he is gone just yet

her life will never be the same
she will never forget the
words – she’ll never forget
her little boy – his name…

this young man
getting up the nerve
to ask his girl to be his wife

now has lost his life:

and the bearer of this sad news,
the one who speaks the words
will never forget,

He and all the others,
the bearers of such tragic news
are also Brothers.