Every War's a Parents' War

In our arms once you snugged
Our baby boy, we gently hugged

Your first small step you later took
On wobbly legs, you made us look.

A brand new bike, you took a spin
Bright young eyes, a wonderous grin.

School was next, and children’s play
A baseball team, and teen’s birthdays.

To war you chose at freedom’s call,
And risk, perhaps, to give your all.

But we, each night at home observe
The news reports of those who serve.

The daily toll, the price that’s paid.
The photos of a new dug grave.

With pride and fear we speak of you
We daily pray to see you through.

Your room is still the way you left,
Your photos around our house are kept.

Our hearts and minds are with you close,
With hope we’re there, when need is most.

Yet each guest at which our door does knock,
We fear the worst, when we unlock.

Taxis we dread and chaplains too,
For news they may bring us of you.

For every war’s a parents’ war,
It grips us at our very core,

Each killed soldier -- a parent’s loss,
Each wound inflicted – too a parent’s cost.

Leaders: Our soldiers rarely serve alone.
Their loss and pains are felt back home.

So when you ask of them to give,
The cost must warrant, to us who live.

If war is just, our loss is met,
With resolute minds, determined set.

With sadden pride of the cost of things,
As peace and safety and freedom’s ring.

But if you waste these young folks lives,
We’ll meet you too, on the other side,

And if the cost is due to greed,
Ego, incompetence or worthless need,

Your return will suffer, at least tenfold,
And haunt you nightly as you draw old.

For as your life nears to its close,
You too shall answer that poignant probe.

To not just you, you shall account,
But them, and us and innocents count.

For each war is too, a parents war.

2007. R. Craig Johnson
All Rights Reserved.

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