I cut my teeth on the stones
piled upon your chest.
War had made you a corpse
before I learned to speak.
Two towers fell on knife wings
and you raced to defend freedom
while I was yet cradled in the womb.
Fourteen feels ancient…I was born
in the hem of stars and stripes,
the chill of goodbye void of hello.
Father, you are photographs,
a uniform, mother’s tears.
Smiles I will never feel against my cheek.
Courage hangs on the living room wall
where medals salute morning sun.
A monument for a loved soldier
I’ll only know through scars.
©Susie Clevenger 2015