Veterans’ Circle

It was usually quiet when these gentlemen met to shake hands and to relive some moments of shared sacrifice. It was always the same – in amongst tress and seated around an oversized redwood picnic table. It began with twelve, and now the years had taken half of them away. Nevertheless, each Memorial Day remained theirs to remember the joys and the pains of their camaraderie.
Veterans’ Circle
Some hadn’t cried
up until then
Welled up feelings too frequent
now did abound
A first tear finds its way down
This deepest dam had been breached
Decades of storage released
Sixty-one years of burden
Why me
some shared
was I the receiver of mercy
Given all of life’s allowances
Forty thousand others… forever stilled
Sitting in a circle
Men of dissimilar cloth
Unmistakably the same
Veterans all
Able to speak to veterans
Looks understood
Arms around each other’s shoulders
Not needy men
though all in need
It was called the Forgotten War
Fought by forgotten men
each in their own degree
Had bourn witness
Tragedy seen without boundary
Questions forever remaining unanswered
With circle growing smaller
Ever smaller
Fewer left to be understood
Their proud country sent them to war
To a place called Korea
They so gallantly stood
-HK May 31, 2012

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