Medals of honor, crosses all in a row,
Bugles blown sadly, wreaths tied in a bow.
A man clad in dirty rags, brown bag in hand
Fumbles for a smoke, adjusting his headband.
Long ago a soldier, tall, lean, and proud.
Now, his uniform more resembles a shroud.
His hard weathered face echoes the gray streaked hair,
Eyes change in a flash into that thousand yard stare.
Thoughts return from a far off place,
Mist clouds his eyes, tears flow down his face.
Brown bag lifted to tobacco stained lip,
Killing another memory, he takes a longer sip.
To “Taps” he listens with head turned down.
Walks slowly to his hangout, downtown.
He shivers in the cold, and shrivels in the heat.
Dies in early Autumn, a death, painful and slow.
Last thoughts were of honor, and crosses all in a row!
© Terry Klasek