Just a few weeks shy of a year ago
I joined a crowd of loved ones
for a day of farewells.
We were mostly strangers to each other.
Until being joined together by invincible strings
tugging deeply at our souls;
as we all climbed aboard another mystic juncture
of fear, apprehension and fleeting trust.
Familiar, quavering voices surrounded sullen faces
as we shared farewell wishes.
I studied your expressions
as well as those around you.
Secretly I applaud your exhilaration
that so perfectly outlines your pure inner happiness
as you embark upon another chapter in your book of life
where faith leads warrior;
or is it the other way around?
Soon we'll see that army face take place
as it gobbles up every bit of your joy-bearing person
just so you stay ahead of the muck.
You are defined by your devotion,
even as so many of us standing here
are digging our feet so tightly into the dirt beneath our souls
it's all the whispers I remember so clearly now.
So many people are ashamed to admit they have ceased belief
of this mission you are banking your life upon.
As you stand strong, we shall support you, again.
I must admit while I watch your loved ones
all standing proud and excited,
inside, my gratitude, for your valor-
disappeared before your flight left the ground.
But, that's my secret.
At twenty something you are a beloved son, brother, husband and father....
on yet your second tour of duty.
365 days seems short to those without tensions.
Oddly enough on that day, I wondered if you'd ever add grandfather to that list?
Silly thoughts plague worried souls,
even with whispers of wonder dancing through our thoughts, of you,
lost in an undesirable land;
doing, what is it again, I can't remember?
At last, the dawning of today
brings joy to our hearts
as we gather together again.
What's that we hear coming up the quiet street?
Why it's so many sirens leading four buses
toward this joyous crowd.
Your excited little girl calling "It's Daddy!"
Elated, delighted, jumping up and down with excitiment.
While a year ago your life was put on pause,
right now as you step down from the bus
you are home again!
Our prayers have been answered.
We are thankful.
......and God bless you one and all. Our hearts are bursting with joy.