Edgar A. Tieman
PURPLE HEARTS AT VALENTINE’S DAY
It was Valentine’s Day so many years ago
When my Father came home from the war
I still recall the cane he used to help him walk
I was quite young but I remember?
Like it was yesterday?
Climbing up into his lap
He had rows and rows of colorful medals on his chest
He named them one by one and what they were for
At such a young age I remember laughing and giggling
As my chubby fingers touched each one
Some of the names sounded funny
I kept asking him to name them over and over again
He just smiled and laughed with me
The last one I touched hung from a cool-colored ribbon
“That is a Purple Heart,” He said.
“That’s a funny color for a heart.
Did all the soldiers get one for Valentine’s Day?
Guess what PAPA?
Mama and I got you one that’s RED – With a BIGGER Ribbon!”
He looked at me, gave me a Papa bear hug, and laughed.
Mama smiled in her quiet way but she was laughing inside
“Son, it’s a Purple Heart;
they give it to the soldiers wounded in the war?”
And I recall this memory
like it was yesterday when I climbed up into his lap
The time came when I too was called to war
And on Valentine’s Day “upon my return”
A Purple Heart upon my chest I wore
Generations of Purple Hearts and Ribbons rest side by side
Mementos of Valor in our fight for freedom
Our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters,
have NOW been called to serve.
As families, we hope and pray upon their return,
There will be no Purple Hearts,
Only Ribbons to place
Along with ours this Valentine’s Day
©Copyright February 13, 2002 by Edgar A. Tieman
Author’s Note: This is a fictional poem, written to honor all Purple Heart Recipients and those who are fighting the war against terrorism, and to celebrate the innocence of childhood.