In Honor of Veterans Day

For Veterans Day, I was going to observe a day of silence on my blog. For those who know me, silence was going to be impossible. Let’s not muck up the waters today with my usual rantings and sarcasm, so…..I offer a solution. I wrote a poem (simplistic and perhaps naive) when I was 16 years-old about two men in a war. I would like to post that poem and then, I would like to offer an alternate ending.  AND….yes, it rhymes. I had yet to discover that poetry didn’t have to do that.

An innocent man was stuck in the war

Why he was there, he wasn’t quite sure

Watching the chaos he learned many things

He finally realized the pain that each war brings

The strategy of the game holds no mercy in hand

Country against country, man against man

To one man’s success comes another’s defeat

As history unfolds we must move to its beat

Another one’s suffering is another one’s gain

Some consider it pleasure smiling at one’s pain

As one man rose, another one fell

One goes to heaven and one to hell

Soldiers killing hopes with threatening designs

Killing others with weapons of the mind

(original ending)

The innocent man began to leave, so he would see no more

Yet suddenly he found himself face to face with a soldier of war

Defending himself with only his wit

He tried to find a solution and find one quick

He stumbled back, he began to fall

His life was desperately clinging on a cliff’s wall

Knowing the man would lose his grasp, the soldier turned away

Seeming quite happy things turned out this way

Yet when he heard the man’s cry, he suddenly turned and reached for his hand

It wasn’t too late, he was beginning to understand

He was living to win a war he knew nothing about

Is this man’s life worth it, he began to doubt

As the man began to lose his grasp, the soldier clutched onto his hand

He no longer saw an enemy, he only saw a man

Now there were two men stuck in the war

Why there were there, they weren’t quite sure

(alternate ending)

The innocent man decided it was not the time to be a rubbernecker

And anyway, he was risking his life to protect a cat and a game of checkers

As Will Smith pointed out in Men In Black, if a girl is out late with chemistry books in the hood

Despite all the monsters running around, she’s probably up to no good

So he decided to go and avoid such suspicion

Upon leaving, he encountered  a soldier on a mission

He defended himself by throwing his checkers

The soldier yelled at him to get it together

“Don’t you know there is fighting going on!

Get out of here, you don’t belong!”

As the soldier started back to fight in the war

The innocent man asked “What are you fighting for?”

“For freedom, that’s why we were sent.”…the soldier replied

“In order for others to live, I might have to die.

I didn’t question this decision. I go where they say.”

Then the soldier thought about everyone back home today

Enjoying their day off and chugging their beers

Relaxing in peace without experiencing fear

He hopes they remember exactly why they are home

And that someone calls his family, because they feel sad and alone

6 thoughts on “In Honor of Veterans Day

    1. Thanks. I have a huge collection of poems from 3rd grade through highschool. All of them rhyme, but I realized in college most of the poems of the day…did not. I think people frowned upon the rhyming ones. Oh well.


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