James H. Smith and Ann-Marie Spittle

THE MONOLITH

Photograph, “I’m With Them Again” by James H. Smith
“Within Their Shadow, When Long Ago Is But Yesterday”: Photo, “I’m With Them Again” by James H. Smith
It is a joining
As I kneel here
Hand on cold black stone
Carved in remembrance of the fallen
But I am within myself a living wall
Memories dance across my eyes
When smells and sounds
Actions and words
Take me to the place I cannot escape

We hold hands across the space of time
My brothers and I
Though gone in body
This place brings them close, ever standing near
Their laughter, their bravery, their beauty
Moments of peace in the barrage
Friends become family, brothers of blood
When forged in the annuls of battle hell

Children walk past, oblivious to my remembering
Laughing in the light of the day
Together, my brothers and I, we pray
These Children never know
What we know

The truth of hell, battle wrought