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Old man and his wife on the patio square;

In a swinging seat, no one else there.

Others were milling farther out on the grass.

And though none of my business, I finally asked,

"Have you children?" The aging old eyes held mine,

"Yes, three sons ... gone now, for a very long time.

They were young, patriotic, and we knew they would go.

Though mama did beg them to wait, it was, "No."

Jimmy, the oldest, was on Normandy.

Steven held out 'till a day called "D".

David seemed so young. But, we couldn't keep

Him from taggin' along, at his brother's feet.

By now, we'd probably be covered with kids.

Grandchildren, great grands might well have been.

But, they fought for freedom. And always we fly

Our flag so high, on the fourth of July!

On Veterans Day, they place on their graves

Small red, white, and blues. We never miss

The parade and the honor services set.

A lot of important people we've met.

Still, it would have been nice, a grandchild or two;

Someone to care and help you to do

The things that grow harder, each year that we live,

And to see (like others) the "traits" of the kids."

Now, I never lost a son in a war.

Do I pass it lightly? I won't anymore.

For, my own little "grands" play by my chair.

And, it's such sweet pleasure to have them there;

Free and unhampered, delighted with life ...

Causing me to remember how dear the price!

Some lonely old patriots gave more than a son.

We ought to remember what cost freedom's won.

Joan Clifton Costner
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Graphic, cross and flag tube courtesy of:

Marilyn