Soldier Boy

By brian francis

I remember him
as a little boy
with a happy grin
After shedding his tears
on the sidewalk
I lifted, loved,
and comforted him

I watch him grow
from the little kid next door
Into a sapping young football hero
With a girl on his arm
and a wild gleam in his eye
Seeing the promise
of a fine young man
inspired pride

His days at school
would be retold
at night beneath the oak
Skipping stones across the river
as he struggled to comprehend
The intricacies
of passions pull
for that sweet young girl
As I cast my line
into the current’s flow
I listened but rarely spoke
Wishing I had had the answers
But knowing
that they were his to find

Just the other day
His memories were revisited
By the side of a grave
A fine young soldier
returned home to sleep
Beneath the sod
of the nation he loved

I remember him
as that proud young soldier
Just home from camp
Wearing his uniform
With a prideful strut
With a girl on his arm
And a chip on his shoulder
Admired by the friends
he’d left behind

The very same friends
That gathered together
To toss a handful of earth
Into the hole
that would embrace him
and keep him warmed by love

The discharge of rifles
Saluted his heroic loss
As I remembered him
as a little boy
with a happy grin

Copyright ©2020 brian francis