Memorial Day

I’m trying to hide from the day, searching for a poem to post instead of writing my thoughts. They flow until I try to pin them down. I’ve been reflecting on the meaning of the day, the need for the day, the sadness of it all.

My father came home from war and never spoke of it. My uncles too. My family didn’t lose any sons or daughters in battle. Today, there are flags on their graves, those who served and came home, just as there are for those who were lost. Does anyone ever come home from war?

I hope some day, as a species, we will look back on these days when warfare seemed so necessary, so vital to existence, and mourn for all who were lost to that ideal. I hope this planet will know peace.

Meanwhile, I do honor the dead and their grieving families. I miss my dad. He came home from war long before I was born. I don’t know how the man who left home differed from the man who came back. On Memorial Day, the whole family would gather at my parents’ house. I wonder what it meant for him, whom he mourned as he watched his children, and then grandchildren, laughing and playing while the burgers cooked. I never thought to ask, but I doubt he would have answered if I had.