Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I raise my glass to the boys no longer here...

I saw this tribute to a fallen comrade over at Tanker Brothers...
To Patrick's family: my prayers go out to you...
To Patrick: May we meet someday at Fiddler's Green brother....

OutSide The Windows

By: Deborah Tainsh 3/04
(In memory of Sgt. Patrick Tainsh, KIA Baghdad 2/11/04)

We watch out the windows, your dad and I,
wanting your easy walk towards the house
the wrap of your hand around the brass knob.
Instead we see the chaplain’s footprints
we have not been able to scrub from the concrete,
his knuckle prints branded against the door.
Any moment now we will break
through the matrix, reach you,
and pull you back into the kitchen where you’ll
show us the proper way to prepare the scallops.
You chose to trade-in your surf board and snowboard
for what you said was something
that would make a difference.
The last time you spoke with your brother
you said, “Don’t thank me, it’s my job.”
You always told your dad and me, “Don’t Worry.”
You climbed in rank faster than most
to reach sergeant; lead and taught those
drawn to you like apostles.
On top of the TV we keep the photo of you in
helmet and flack jacket with Iraqi children.
You believed them worth the fight.
You mourned their poverty.
Once defiant, later than most, you followed
steps of your father now accepting with
bitter-sweet pride your folded flag,
Cavalry Stetson, silver saber, and bootless spurs.
The Purple Heart, Bronze, and Silver Stars carry
the message we want the world to know about You.
We have been reminded, your dad and I, that
God’s son began his service at age thirty and at thirty-three
sacrificed himself for human kind.
What coincidence…
In our search we know you dwell in sixty-foot
waves from the North Shore to Australia,
the rain and breeze against the lighthouse chimes.
And outside the family room on a branch of the great oak
you dwell in the noble
heart of the hawk
watching through the window our gradual steps
moving beyond the chaplain’s footprints,
his knuckle prints branded against the door.

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