|Donít let me ask that dreaded line; don't break my heart, dear Son.
Donít let me ever have to ask, "Was my boy the one?"
My heart was breaking as you left, though you saw me stand so tough.
But deep inside, I wept and sobbed; comfort would not be enough.
To have to watch the child I raised suddenly become a man,
To have to watch him walk away; to let go of that hand.
I'm proud of you, you know that. You heard it many times before.
But it takes on new meaning, when I see you off to war!
Waiting for you back home is the country that you serve.
The billions of strangers thank you for the things we donít deserve.
And here we sit, and watch the news, wondering where our boys could be.
I whisper silent prayers that God will bring you back to me.
Most carry on our daily lives, never thinking of the cost.
Until some father, much like me, finds out his son was lost.
And reality, much clearer then, slaps us in the face.
Awkward silence, followed by grief- desolation takes its
Time goes by and seasons change. It nearly was a year,
Not too much time left overseas, until Iíd see you here.
We celebrated Christmas and New Years went by so swift.
And memories of you flooded in, when I had wrapped your gift.
But then it came, that fateful day, a message with the word:
My only son, so far away, had died- is what Iíd heard.
Oh my child! Iíd seen you off, I let go of that hand!
Why did you have to go from me? I just don't understand.
Iím alone now, and so bitter. My heart has grown so cold.
To never look upon my son with pride, when I am old,
Iím angry with my God; he never heard my humble prayer:
ďLord, bring him safely back to me; keep him in your care.Ē
And so you finally came to us, with medals you had won.
But you never got to wear them, because now your life was gone.
Twenty-one guns saluted you, but you never got to hear.
The Taps, played on one haunting bugle never fell upon your ears.
Iíve taken down Old Glory- of the country for which you died.
Black ribbons grace the door now; white roses where you lie.
I weep each time I go and see your name there, etched in stone.
And remember then, when yellow ribbons couldnít bring you home.