Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Memorial Day Tribute

For Cpl. R. J. Roberts, USMC
America at War in Iraq – March, 2003

The message on my computer screen
said click on The Presidential Prayer Team –
the Adopt Our Troops link
and be given a soldier to pray for
until the end of the war

I don't know any soldiers
stationed in Iraq, personally
soldiers who startled us with Shock & Awe
soldiers who endured stinging sand
blazing days and shivery desert nights
Don't know any who engaged in combat
manned planes, copters and tanks
or risked biological warfare
during that arduous trek to Baghdad
Don't know any at all
so I clicked on the website
…but was unable to access the link

When the morning paper arrived
the front page held a full color photo
of a British medic
examining a newborn Iraqi baby
cradled in a cardboard box
with the flaps torn off
I placed my hand upon the soldier

Jesus, bring him home, whole

laid my hand upon the infant

O Lord, please have him grow up
safe and strong
in a land free of terror…

At work, later that morning
a co-worker approached my counter
softly singing a hymn

How lovely to hear singing
in times like these, I remarked

My son left Tuesday, she said

Our eyes locked
mother to mother

I'd like to adopt your son, I told her
I'll pray for him every day
until he comes home

He is a Marine, she said
serving in the air delivery platoon
Cpl. R. J. Roberts
He'll be on the ground
distributing supplies in Iraq

I know he'll return

Our pastor prophesied
a few years ago
that R. J. will become a preacher

He's not a preacher yet…
though I suppose
there's a very good chance
he may be preaching right now

When I got home
I fastened a yellow ribbon
to my front porch railing

Maude Carolan

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