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Memorial Day 2007
Author: Shiloh

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This year it kinda hit me.
It hasnít really bothered me
until yesterday,
when I went to the cemetery.
Memorial Day is Monday,
My buddy was a vet,
and since he didnít seem to have
one of those flag-holder grave markers
for veterans,
I picked one up from the County Agent
and took it to the cemetery,
and gave his headstone a little more dignity.
It looks good there,
the veteran emblem and the flag,
by his name.
But this year I did the math.
Looked at his date of birth
and date of death,
and realized that he was only
two years younger than me,
and he died back
when I was thirty-four.
For more than a quarter century
Iíve missed him,
from time to time.
That seems so wrong to me, now.
I should have been missing him
almost every day,
but because he was gone,
and I didnít see him,
didnít talk with him,
didnít do things with him,
I also didnít seem to miss him,
like I feel that I should have.
About the only times
that I have gone to see him
are holidays...
when I remember,
for a bit,
that he was once my friend,
once someone I cared about.
Hell, I canít even remember his birthday,
or the day he died.
I do, however, remember
how much fun it was
just to be around him.
We never quite got close enough
to feel like brothers,
but we were almost that close.
He never got around to teaching me
how to tune a piano,
and he never finished building
that pipe organ in the back of his house,
but Iíll never forget his 30-foot indoor
Christmas tree, or his carpeted porch,
steps, and sidewalks.
He was a bit of an eccentric, I guess,
but I just called it
being a little off the mark.
Crazy? Maybe, but I loved him for it.
And yesterday,
when I knelt at his grave,
it all came flooding back to me,
and hit me square in the heart...

Ah, the times we could have had,
the times we would be having today,
but they were buried with you
back in Ď81, and you sorta moved away...
and I remember that I still owe you a beer...

Dave, Iím sorry
for not keeping you in mind better,
like I should have.
Itís gotta be lonely down there
under that stone,
and nobody visiting you much.

Itís just that it hurts, sometimes,
to look down at your stone
and realize - thatís all there is
thatís left of you...
just that damn cold stone.

Iím gonna try to do better,
big guy,-
visit you, talk with you,
and remember you on days
other than holidays...

Aww... cut it out -
you donít have to grin like that!

------- Author's Notes -------

Memorial Day, or, as it was called originally, Decoration Day, (when graves of servicemen were decorated by family and friends), was originally observed on May 30th. In 1971 Congress changed all federal holidays and moved them around so they are now observed on Mondays, which insures a three-day weekend for a holiday. The hell with tradition. The only exceptions to this are Veteransí Day, November 11th, and 4th of July.

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Comments on this poem/writing:

shiloh (66.24.112.118) -- Saturday, November 10 2007, 07:38 am

Dave...

I miss you, guy... more than I care to admit. It hurts to remember, but the memories are good ones, and they help me accept the idea that you're gone, although I don't like it. Don't know if you can see this, but I want to say it this way, anyway... you were a brother, you were loved, and you will always be missed, and I will remember you fondly. peace, my friend, my brother... hank
 
Name:                                           Remember Me

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