the old soldiers

the old soldiers

stood face to face

on hallowed ground

made sacred by young fair-haired soldiers who did not live on

except as hazy memories,

half-forgotten memories,

sifted memories,

the hell and the  horror,

tucked away in boxes in the attic,

the bravery and the honor,

set carefully on the fireplace mantle,

and now those memories,

they all drift back

to these old men,

who lean on canes

and on each other

who grew old in their living on,

for all these many years,

gazing out from foreign shores,

to search once more for that smoke that lays deathly

above the battlefields, they both had known.

and on this fair-haired summer day,

they journey back

they march in slow and shaky steps,

to dare now to return,

to heal the wounds,

to find the peace,

to silence forever the echoes of those rusting cannons,

to gaze together into old soldiers' souls,

finally forgiven.



The End

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