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My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Surrounded by fruit trees
stands my father’s childhood home,
and then it became my own. Bees
still gather pollen in spring and summer,
gooseberries ripen, blossoms transform
into little green apples, cherries and pears.
In that respect, nothing has changed
since I was a toddler.

Grandfather gimped along
on his artificial leg. The one of flesh
and bone he had given to the distant war
he seldom spoke of. Another one
came along that took an uncle, a cousin,
and I, too, have done my duty.

Then, as now, the nation spoke
of heroes and patriots, and now a neighbor tells
me how proud I must be to have a son
in the service, defending our country
against enemies that live a world away.

Pardon me if I abstain from all patriotic
huzzah. No, I did not burn my country’s flag,
but folded it into a neat blue triangle that shows
four of its fifty white stars. I placed it for safekeeping
behind glass--surrounded by photos--and medals
received for valor, and I hope for better days--
filled with clarity and sanity.

Review Request (Direction): 
How does this theme appeal to you?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


This is powerful as is. I especially like the lines that capture a complete image (e.g., gooseberries ripen, blossoms transform) and think some other line breaks might be more effective with a possible example being:

on his artificial leg. The one
of flesh and bone he had given
to the distant war . . .

The intro is beautifully set up. I would have liked the end contrasted more clearly with the intro although the feeling is there.

and your kind thoughts are very much appreciated. JerryK.

author comment

This theme appeals to me very much, however sad. You have written wisely and truthfully. The pastoral birds, bees and blossoms contrast with what's to come.
So many young boys lost their lives in WWI and II. My father's two brothers were lost "somewhere in France". No burial, nothing, just a note to the family thanking them for "service to king and country" and some medals with ribbons.
I have no nits. Wish my muse would return and allow me to write as well as you do. Kind regards, Gracy

"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

Just thinking about you today as I have lost your mailing address. L. and I are doing fine, and I'm still writing, but I want to give others a chance and so I have backed off a bit, but the muse is still with me, lol. My family had lost a lot of people in both world wars as well, but that's the way things went. Wars are always fashionable for one reason or another. Thank you for liking my story, Gracy, and I hope the Muse will show herself at your home again, soon. Thanks, dear, and I hope you are doing well. Jerry

author comment

They are quiet folks, having done their duty previously.

Thanks for being such a good writer on a topic I appreciate.

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thank you for the comment, kind sir. I just hate the real thing, and even hate writing about it.. Thank you though for reading; much appreciated. JerryK

author comment
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