Christina A. Sharik

THE SILVER BRACELET

I wore a bracelet for a while
Inscribed with date and name –
I’d never met the missing man
I knew him just the same.

I wore the bracelet faithfully
I never took it off my wrist
I prayed for him and wondered
If he knew that he was missed.

I felt that if I wore it “well”
I could somehow make things right.
I tried to imagine where he was
So far from home at night.

I tried to send my thoughts and prayers
Ten thousand miles away –
I thought that when he made it home
I’d have a chance to say –

That I had worn a bracelet
And kept him in my heart
I sent him hope and sympathy
And wished him a new start.

One day the prisoners did come home
We watched it on TV –
I was so proud of all of them
So thrilled that they were free.

I tried to see the man whose name
Was on my silver band –
The family thanked me for my thoughts
His brother shook my hand.

They said he couldn’t see me, though –
He wasn’t quite himself.
He stayed upstairs, alone, they said
Looking at models on a shelf.

The man had made it home, at last
But it was my surmising
That he was still in prison camp
This one of his devising.

I put the bracelet in a drawer
I have it still, somewhere
And when I run across it
I say a little prayer

For all of those who made it home
And those who are still there.

Author’s Note: This poem was written for Major Ron Reynolds, whose bracelet I wore. I worked for Snelling and Snelling near Paoli, PA, and his brother, Lloyd, would come in every once in awhile. I got the bracelet through him. A year or so ago, I found info on the Internet that he was married and had kids and grandchildren. Welcome Home, Ron!!

I wear a bracelet still. This one is for Capt. James W. Gates, MIA April 6, 1966 Laos.

Dear Army Mom,

I am a member of Chapter 934, Vietnam Veterans of America, located in the Wichita Kansas area.

I have been reading your poetry and find it valuable for my own peace. I would like to print your poem “The Silver Bracelet” in our Chapter newsletter, with proper credit, of course. I believe that some of our brothers would like it as much as I do. Some of us still have a hard time about those left behind, and may derive some comfort knowing others still care.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours Aye,
Michael Bulger