(*Author’s note: I understand that I’m a day late, but I needed to make sure to get my small, minuscule “Thank You” out there for the members of our Armed Forces)

At the edge of the incoming tide they stand,
Boots toeing darkness’ precipice
Flinty eyes locked in the unblinking stare
Of a fighter’s gaze.
When carnivorous fear bellows,
Echoing from deep inside the canyon walls
Of human hearts
And instincts tug at our feet to flee,
They stand resolute.
As iron sharpens iron
So, too, does courage sharpen courage.
These sentries to freedom
Hold torches alight
Shoulder to shoulder
And back to back.
As smoke from a candle,
They steal away from light
Easing silently into harm’s way
Like wolves to the hunt.

These brave few.
These warriors.
Turning palm to fist when fists come to call
And tucking us in under a blanket
Woven from courage
By courage.
Steady hands and steady nerves
And a belief that justice will prevail
Even during the most charcoal black
Midnight hours.
They stand a post,
Keep a watch.
They have pushed their star-spangled
Chips to the center of the table
In the ultimate act of courage and defiance
And stood up when the call was heard
With no hesitation and no qualms.

These men.
These women.
These red, white, and blue
Brothers and Sisters
And fellow Americans.
These heroes.

Stand today,
You fighters.
Stand today,
You keepers of the peace.
Stand today,
You willful,
You proud,
You majestically unafraid.

Stand today,
You talons of the Eagle.

So we may give you thanks.

(*Author’s note: To all who have served, continue to serve, or will someday serve our great nation: Thank You.  From the bottom of my Red, White, and Blue-beating heart. . .thank you.  Stand today, so we may give you thanks.)


  1. madhat says:

    I put your poem up with a display of library books.

  2. Sue Tolles says:

    as always, you have such a way with words. I posted this at work.

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