Sep 9, 2011

Poems from the 9/11 Broadcast

The following poem about people who serve in the armed forces during Peacetime was a collaboration among the listeners to Hugh Hewitt's show who submitted bits of verse and personal stories. As Tarzana Joe, I tried to tie their reflections together. We did the project poem in August of 2011. Peacetime was about to end.

It can still happen as before
The threats may wane but never cease
Should we be sure in time of war
So they must serve in time of peace
For peace is such a fragile place
And such an easy thing to lose
A flash of lightning in the sky
A whispered rumor in the news

So who are these who volunteer?
Who give a day and then a year?
And then their lives by their own choices
Let us listen to their voices

We hump the boonies clad in green
We grunts who keep our honor clean
We stand in line; we do a job
We take our place for the good old mob

I signed up when I was 20 but knew it when I was ten
I wanted to be a soldier and serve like the fighting men
My father used to mention when he spoke in that certain way
And broke out the old mementos, on the 4th weekend in May

I was sent there to watch the ballots
On a cloudless, stifling morn
I was there at the birth of a nation
I was not when my son was born

I lost a dozen friendships; it was something I couldn’t explain
Why would a woman want to and what would a woman gain?

I have no foe to conquer but I’m keeping my rifle clean
I polish the brass and buckles and fight off the old routine
I don’t see the rocket’s glaring or the dawn’s revealing light
I just stand at my post and whisper, “Not here, Lord. And not tonight.”

I was on the plane that faltered
On a deck in a pitching sea
The printed my yearbook picture
Yes, America, that was me

They had no though of glory won
Just duty seen and duty done
The souls who serve in Peacetime
Is there a spot where I may sit?
A place where candles can be lit
To those that die in Peacetime
There is no monument it seems
For those who lose their breath and dreams
The souls we mourn in Peacetime
They’ve given more than their fair share
We offer them this simple prayer
God grant them Peacetime

By Tarzana Joe and the Hugh Hewitt audience

4 Questions
By Tarzana Joe
Spring will never come again
No April without pain
Each April the Emancipator's

Brothers, will there ever
Be a seven in December
When our sons will not
Remember? Remember?

November never passes
Unless I shed a tear
Year after Year after Year

And never in September
Will I look into the sky
Without asking the question
Why? Why? Why? Why?

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