Thurman P. Woodfork


We look back down the misty years,
Live once more those long gone days,
Probing, examining, breathing life
Into the memories through the haze.

The ache of favors not performed,
The regret for praise left unsaid,
And kindnesses we wish we’d done
For those now long among the dead.

It wasn’t due to indifferent neglect
We had no way to foresee events,
We aren’t gifted with clairvoyance,
So why should we now sit and lament?

We didn’t fire the fatal bullet
Plan the ambush or hurl the grenade,
The war, itself, was not of our making;
That decision was by others made.

The religions in which we all believe
Tell us that the deceased are free,
No longer encumbered by the cares
That still beset you and me.

So why continue to mourn their passing,
Why do we feel such lasting grief,
When we should have happily rejoiced
At the advent of their final relief?

Do we miss the familiar voices,
The friendly touch we no longer feel?
Even our companionable silences
Held an affinity that was truly real.

All these sighs and lamentations
As we sit here sad and forlorn;
Disguise a truth we may not admit:
That it’s really for ourselves we mourn.