Their boots laced by unshaking hands;
these brave few
have heated their hearts in the forges
of our forefathers;
the ones who bled crimson
onto our nation’s flag.
They stride forward,
march onward, when others
find only leaden fear coursing through unmoving limbs.

They brush aside Death’s bony,
outstretched claws;
shrug off seeping darkness.
The manacles of fear
lay strewn behind them,
shattered to metallic bits.
Into hot bullets and cold danger,
to battles they march.

They wipe Midwestern dirt from Midwestern hands,
leave amber grain waving in northern wind,
trade safety for heat and for sand.
Departing a world of concrete, blacktop, and sky-piercing towers
they answer to duty in lands all-too-foreign
and all-too-familiar.
Like 50 stars upon the flag
they stitch themselves into America.

These warriors.
They willfully cast themselves adrift on foggy seas
of conflict
and sail the unrest as a current.
With only the red glare of rockets
illuminating their solemn road
they seek freedom.

For all that they have done,
all that their lives
and hearts
and minds
and valor
have purchased us
we give thanks on this day.

These brave few,
these talons of the eagle,
are America.
And for this,
we give thanks.

(*Author’s Note: To all who have served, serve us still, or are considering service to our great nation: thank you.  From the bottom of my red, white and blue beating heart: thank you.)


  1. Sue Tolles says:

    this was beautiful, it moved me to tears, You have such a way with words. loved it

  2. Sharon says:

    You are very very talented. I hope this is published. Moving and exceptional.

  3. Burnpoetry says:

    Thank you both. Much appreciated.

  4. Jodi Ropte says:

    My dear cousin, you are so talented! thank you for the words that so many feel but don’t know how to express it. You are blessed!

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