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Posts Tagged ‘history poem’

Twenty-One Shots

On a blue October day twenty-one shots
echoed through my heart,
jolted me back into the current moment,
where my thoughts had wandered
back to Pop-Pop’s firing salute years before,
this time empty shells hit the ground
and heavy blasts hit the air for my father.

Warriors get what they deserve at Arlington,
where their heavy hearts can rest.
Left here with our troubled hearts.
Rest well and forever,
whatever losses life gave you
have been given back.

Have you ever seen Marines fold a flag?
I’ll only see it once,
Marines in perfect symmetry,
folding the flag over my father,
ceremonial, sad, perfect,
brothers honoring each other
separated only by time.

I’ve had family in every American war.
Dad said he went to war so
Kevin and I did not have to.

God, I hope I deserve not
to see combat. I hope all
their blood has been enough.
God, I hope I live well enough
knowing there is a burden
they carried that I will
never be able to repay.

 

Kyle McHale                         2014

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Drip-Castles

When I learned how to make a drip-castle,
I felt as though I was an engineer,
Overcoming the dripping hassles
To sculpt my vision by a sandy pier.

I dug a large moat near the changing tide
To sit and collect that wet sandy goo,
Wet sand the cement to build it high,
To defend the coast under sky so blue.

I sculpted the base for the kings and queens,
Then added dripping columns stacked upon
Their wishes for the kingdom and their dreams,
Hallowed ground that spot that it now sat on.

A drip-castle is such a funny thing,
Warped towers bulging at the sides,
Strange places for princesses to sing
Then shackle away at the rising tide.

The week Jale` left I went to the shore,
The sun setting late I began the moat,
I dug until the moon told me no more
And wished for some gull and I to float.

It was as grand as the sand would allow,
Towers that stand when the kingdom has gone,
A lost world that vanished somehow,
A thief in the night, a treacherous song.

Then there was the one I built with my love
On a hazy day filled with sweating skin,
The drip-castle mentor I thought I was,
A castle of love was soon to begin.

Roots in the towers began to sink in,
And rays from the sun boiled the rest,
Founding a drip-castle love and then
A summer red glow did burn in my chest.

So children and men do drip-castle on,
The water your friend, the water your foe,
The tales of love through all the eons
Tell of the castles and where they all go.

Kyle McHale       2013

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