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Beyond the sign

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Below is the poem entitled Beyond the sign which was written by poet kathryn ramirez. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Beyond the sign

Hello friend, Do you see that man on the corner by the street?
He is holding the cardboard saying "homeless and I need to eat." 
If you're not too busy, come with me on a journey back to 1969.
It will help you to look past his appearence and beyond his homemade sign.

This is the 1960's, where they thrived on the American Dream.
The women were real ladies, or at least in public thats what it seems.
Today is High School graduation, So much happiness is in the air,
But, These young men have recieved papers, and Uncle Sam expects them there.

Do you recognize the bone structure of this boy standing on our right?
He is the one from the future corner, he was Valedictorian tonight.
So well dressed, and raised up right, his sweetheart by his side.
He has no reason to be fearful of the draft, he is filled with American Pride.

Fast foward, Just a few weeks, to him and his young new wife,
Kissing so passionately, pressing pause on their future, and their life.
He is dropped down in the jungle, amist the sounds of live fire.
He sees injured men being lifted out, as the SGT's on the wire.

Just a young boy of 19, he is scared beyond his witts,
Yet, he completes every mission he is given, he never quits.
He holds the hands of friends, who was cut down in their prime.
Yes, this is the same man, the one you wouldn't give a dime.

He arrives back home, in the year of 1972.
His tour earned him a purple heart, he took bullets for you.
once at home, he is expecting affection from his lover,
but, he has been gone for so long she already found another.

So at 21 years old, this veteran is now a man,
He drinks his memories away, everynight if he can.
He gave an eye, and two of the best friends he has ever known.
He never was told "thank you", and he has nothing to call his own.

If you pay close attention to the newspapers of '72
you will see in the protest, they blamed the drafted soilders too.
so here is this man, young, and broken, yet, still not ashamed.
He proudly answered the call, when the draft listed his name.

Only a fellow Veteran, could even try to understand,
That there are no surviving Vets, a part of them died in Vietnam.
When they returned they expected welcome parties and smiles.
Instead they were placed in a new war, but, it was their uniform on trial.

If you still feel the same as you did before our walk.
Go on about your day, forget about our talk.
But, if you have decided, you can look beyond his sign.
Maybe understand his pain, and give our hero a dime.

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  1. Date: 5/3/2014 7:08:00 PM
    Wonderfully written, it's a story seldom told and even less listened too. We all can produce excuses for being less that We could be.

  1. Date: 4/12/2014 1:47:00 AM
    Very nice. I did a similar poem called "One Out Of Three", referring to the statistic that a third of the homeless out there are veterans, and of third of them are combat veterans. I did another one called "Every Veteran's A Casualty". I think you'd like them both.-----Mark / WarriorPoet

  1. Date: 3/24/2013 4:22:00 PM
    Kathryn, very well written. All Vets deserve our thanks and help. Congrats on your win. Rick

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 3/24/2013 4:43:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you Rick for the congrats and for reading it, couldn't agree more. Katei
  1. Date: 3/23/2013 5:27:00 PM
    Kathryn, :-) Congratulations ~ Thanks for supporting my "descriptive poem" contest. Always yours truly* Linda

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 3/24/2013 4:42:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks Linda for the contest in the first place. I always enjoy them, even if I dont win it's nice to gather with others who enjoys playing with words
  1. Date: 11/18/2012 12:04:00 PM
    Dear Kathryn, Congratulations on your well deserved win. I read your poem long time ago; it made me cry and I could not even leave a comment... But then, I took the inspiration from your write to compose a text about these soldiers...Trying to convey yhis very important message too. Thank you for your courage. Blessings, Hanitra

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 11/18/2012 12:59:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you, I am looking fwd to reading your text, I wish you the best. I am flattered that you seen this poem as an inspiration. this poem is one of few ofmy poems that touch a sensitive place in my heart. I am very honored to have you visit, Katei
  1. Date: 11/1/2012 2:37:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win with this heartfelt poem from you. Yes, those poor guys in the early 70's were treated like crap. I blame the government totally for sending them there in the first place. When will they(the leaders) ever learn??

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 11/4/2012 2:17:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you for the kind words and your visit. It's unfortunate but, they still haven't made it right either.
  1. Date: 10/30/2012 1:56:00 PM
    Congrats Kathryn on your win!A wonderful poem by you!

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 11/4/2012 2:16:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you Kash, and thanks for visiting!
  1. Date: 10/30/2012 11:29:00 AM
    Congratulations on your winning poems in the "Good Enough" contest. - Oxox / / Anne-Lise :)

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 11/4/2012 2:16:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you.
  1. Date: 10/30/2012 7:36:00 AM
    Wow! I enjoyed reading your story! Congratulations on your win my dear friend, Kathryn! love/hugs:) Leonora

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:52:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you for the kind words and the visit. I am incredibly flatterd that you enjoyed it.
  1. Date: 10/30/2012 7:08:00 AM
    Congratulations on your winning poem in SandyIvy's "Good Enough" contest Kathryn. Love, Carol

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:51:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you for the congrats and the visit
  1. Date: 10/29/2012 11:35:00 PM
    CONGRATS KATHRYN ON WINNING AN HM FOR THIS WONDERFUL WRITE LUV ..

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:50:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you very much.
  1. Date: 10/29/2012 10:46:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win, Kathryn! Ruben.

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:49:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you Ruben, your visit is much appreciated!
  1. Date: 10/29/2012 10:27:00 PM
    The Viet Nam veteran was treated shabbily. You tell his story very well. congratulations. Love, Joyce

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:49:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Yes ma'am they were indeed, I am honored by your compliment. however this poem only shows a fraction of the pain inflicted on our brave. thank you for your kind words and visit!
  1. Date: 10/29/2012 8:26:00 PM
    Kathryn.. Congratulations with your wonderful and "Good Enough" poem in Sandy's contest. xox~PD

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:47:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you for both the congrats and the visit!
  1. Date: 10/29/2012 7:26:00 PM
    :-) love your good win' thank you' Sandy

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/30/2012 10:47:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you very much!!!
  1. Date: 10/23/2012 5:10:00 PM
    Nyc piece of work.... I lov this poem!

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/26/2012 3:01:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you very much!!!! for the compliment and the visit, for that you're a saint lol (chessy joke I know but I couldn't resist lol) jk......Katei
  1. Date: 10/22/2012 10:30:00 AM
    kathryn, this is possible one of the best poems on this theme i have ever read, and i will keep reading it, when in my favourites, along with you...there are one or two poets here that i will recommend this too, i'm sure they will enjoy also... it is a wonderful compassionate poem......and yes who cares today,, here in the uk, our lads are to be made redundant once back form Afghanistan

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/22/2012 5:29:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I appreciate your words. They are too kind. My husband is a veteran and my grandfather was in the Korean war. I have a spot for Veterans and it's heartbreaking when they have no homes or lack the daily essentials after they have sacrificed so much for the rest of us. Thank you very much for adding my poem and I to your favorites, and also recommending. It flatters me that a poet such as yourself enjoyed my work. it is an honor to have you visit......Katei
  1. Date: 10/21/2012 5:31:00 PM
    ‡ Thank You Beautiful Loving Kathryn, For The Feedback. Sweet Kisses, Rachel ‡

    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/21/2012 11:31:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    no problem, Thank you for staying in touch. xoxox Katei
  1. Date: 10/21/2012 4:21:00 PM
    ‡ A World Of Compassion And Love Comes Blowing Within The Heart's Winds; Beyound These Ofttimes Drawn Curtains Many Of Us Do So Know, Dear Sweet Beautiful Kathryn. You Can Only Their Priceless Beauty; Just As Every Other Life In This Place; No More No Less. When I Think Of Things Such As This Nad There Are Endless Things ? I Consider What CHRIST JESUS Once Told Pontus Pilot, "Thus, Those Whom Led Myself To You, Shall Bear The Burden." Something Like That ? "Soul-Stirring." My Love, Rachel ‡

    St.Cross Avatar Rachel St.Cross
    Date: 10/21/2012 5:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    ................"It Truly Just Comes Down To 'The Heart.'" *
    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/21/2012 4:30:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    "not helpful" was a typo. I meant to say, "not helping is a sin, but i copied the scripture instead.
    ramirez Avatar kathryn ramirez
    Date: 10/21/2012 4:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you Rachel...Not Helpful Proverbs 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse I firmly believe, that we have to help anyone we can, no matter what they did/who they are. But ESPECIALLY our Veterans. Thank you for your beautiful words and the visit.