Thurman P. Woodfork

HOMECOMING FESTIVAL

Worlds Apart: Doc 1998

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: August 1, 2002
Awarded: August 1, 2002
I have witnessed festivals all over the world
From the Bulls of Pamplona to the glittering swirl
Of the crowds in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day.
And they all were impressive, each in its way.

But, by far the most impressive of all
Wasn’t on a foreign plaza or the DC Mall.
It was the heartfelt joy of a dear old friend
Saying, “I’m glad you’re safely home again.”

But what of the men who will never see
Glad faces like the ones that welcomed me;
Men who for thirty long years and more
Have been locked behind their captors’ doors?

There are some who’d rather turn away
And forget those men who were willing to pay
With their lives and their youth for democracy.
Weren’t those men also fighting to stay free?

Observe the politicians who were never there
To fight for their country and really don’t care
That some who did have never come home –
That they’ve been abandoned to suffer alone;

They speak of patriotism with puffed up chests
While surreptitiously feathering their nests.
Our forsaken men surely wonder why
Their country has callously left them to die.

Bleak yesterdays become hopeless tomorrows,
With nothing ahead but more days of sorrow,
What do they care about pageantry
And homecoming festivals across the sea?

So, shall we just sigh and let them be
A shameful footnote in our history?

This poem inspired the response, “Glitter in the Sun” ©Copyright August 2002 by Faye Sizemore. Submitted for the July 2002 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Festival