"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Hem of Stars and Stripes

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

9 comments :

Gail said...

I am crying. There are no words to describe this poem. You cut to the heart of it and left me reeling.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful and moving, Susie. So full of heart.

Grace said...

Very moving and beautifully written from the heart Susie ~ Thanks for the share ~

Hannah said...

So powerful, Susie and I agree...from the heart. ♥

Mama Zen said...

Powerful and moving, Susie.

Vandana Sharma said...

Those who fight for their country are great heroes for they sacrifice everything.

brudberg said...

What a moment to share... the scars is such a powerful image..

Outlawyer said...

Hey Susie-- a sad viewpoint_ too many kids like that eapexially Id you doubt the troops sent to Afghanistan and, so stupidly, to Iraq. Thanks. K.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This poem is so telling of an era, where so many children were born (and still are) in times of war. How sad to never know one's father, or to lose him in violent conflict too soon. I love the way you have expressed these sombre ideas.

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