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by Debra Conklin

He the rhythmic cadence of his children’s voices as they reminiscence.

He watches...his grandchildren and great-grandchildren dart and squeal as they bustle about.

Dusk descends and envelops them.

Quiet anticipation fills the darkness.

The smallest child settles in his lap.

The oldest, clutches his hand.

“How soon, Grampa?”

“Very soon.” he replies.

With their next breath,

The children see...a burst of light.

The blinding colors setting the sky ablaze.

In his mind’s eye...he sees a burst of gunfire,

>From within the trenches of war.

The children in awe cover their ears,

At the thunderous barrage.

He covers his he hears,

The thunder and roar of the tanks,

As they roll across the battlefield.

A collective sigh, from all,

As the fiery brilliance,

Cascades to the ground.

The light slowly dying,

Then gone.

He is reminded...of his fallen comrades,

Who fought along side him.

Those whose light shone brightly,

For what seemed a moment.

Their light extinguished,

As a casualty,

In their battle,

For the beliefs,

In the American way.

A silent tear,

Travels unabated down his cheek.

His right hand covers his heart,

As the finale reveals itself.

That of an American flag.

The Star-Spangled Banner...

Does Wave.

For the land of the free,

And the home of the brave.


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