A Distant Bugler

In peace sons bury their fathers;
but in war, fathers bury their sons.” – Croesus

Here in this quiet stretch of hallowed ground,
The welcome sunrise warms me as I step
Past granite markers. I kneel down around
The fresh-cut stone of one who’s newly slept.

The dates decree a promised life cut short;
A moment past, a casualty of war.
A valiant man who never again would court
His wife, or with his daughter go explore

The mountainside. He’d never teach his son
The joy of casting from the rocky shore;
Nor would he watch him hit his first home run
Or wrestle with him on the kitchen floor.

      A distant bugler pays respect. Stand tall,
      My boy, stand tall–you consecrated all!