Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Blue Flag

I put the blue flag up again
on a day of sun and storm
and stood and saw it lift and flare
below the other one.

From Battle School in Meaford
I watched him graduate
And wondered how my quiet boy
would handle soon or late
the gutterals of Bihac
and the sullen Balkan hate.

His shoulder's set
the white gloved flick
brought lineage to mind
of other men and other times
of other wars and other lines
of battle calmly met.
A trick of light -
and shadows crowd
the drill hall space
to softly touch and gently strike
the shoulder and the profile
of my son's crusader face.

He telephoned from Trenton,
he'd be good, he said,
and promised he'd be fine.
I put the blue flag up today
because another one of mine
is on a plane to Zagreb.


Ric said...

And may he be safe,
and return home soon,
with the wonder of childhood
still in his eyes.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ric.
He came back safely. He came back safely from Afghanistan too, though it was a near thing that deployment.
He grieves for the children.

AE Rought said...

Oh, Bernita, I love the solemn air to this post. A stirring emotion that you bring about in the reader.

May the Lord Bless him and Keep him until he returns safely home!

Bernita said...

Ae, thank you, dear heart.

Sela Carsen said...

God bless, Bernita. I pray every day that my dh doesn't come home with orders in hand. It's unlikely, given his job, but it lurks at the back of my mind.

Robyn said...

And while we're blessing our soldiers, let's take a moment to bless you, too. Moms and Dads and wives and kids don't get parades, but they are as much in service to their countries as the ones in uniform.

Bernita said...

Thank you both. God keep.

Tsavo Leone said...

I have a favoured phrase for occasions such as this:

May the best of your past be the worst of your future, and may the light that guides you never grow too dim.

I view the events of the world from afar, believing, as I do, that I have no place here. And then, in moments such as this, I find that there are things, such as this, which mist my eye and bring a faint smile to my lips. As long as there are people who can wring beauty from the world we live in...

Thank you for making me feel human again for a little while.

Bernita said...

Tsavo, I have no words to answer a compliment such as you have honoured me.
As one alien child to another...take my hand.

Anonymous said...

Very solemn and moving. Thanks for sharing such an overwhelming moment.

Tsavo Leone said...

Would it any way undo my compliment by simply saying:

"You're welcome."

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Bernita, how truly lovely, heartfelt and soul-stirring. May God be with you and your son, and may you be joyfully reunited soon.

James Goodman said...

What a touching piece. I was a soldier, but I dread the day that my son follows in my footsteps. He talks about it at least once a week, so I assume it is inevitable.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I was holding my breath until I got to the comments and you said he came home safe. Praise the Lord!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason, Daisy, Goody, Bonnie. You warm my heart.