Faye Sizemore

(Veterans Day ~ 2003)

Each night he marched in my dreams… to and fro…
An old soldier in a uniform of long ago…
try as I would I could not make him go…
This night the dream was different
He stopped… and I begged to know
just what made him linger
… and march so…

Sadly, softly… but clearly and proudly
I finally heard the old soldier speak:

… “This is not a chore…
I am a warrior from all wars
I know there are answers that you seek
Know that my reply is not for the meek
The journey is across an endless valley
from here to rest and peace
It is littered with bodies
with not an inch to spare
I would have to traverse
… upon my fallen brothers lying here
to get from here to there
so this is where I will stay
There is just no other way
Here… I will await the day
when they will rise up and beckon to me
and we will march together… again
… across that valley… proud and free
Until that day… here I will stay…
in the shadows of war’s memory
I wait in their honor…
Do not pity me…”

I jerked awake… My dream at an end
The first thought that came to mind
… was ‘God Bless you… my friend’