TAPS for a Veteran

Written by: Edmund Siejka

It was so simple
All he had to do
Was what they 
Told him
Stand straight
Wet your lips
Press the valves
And let the bugle do the rest.
The last few words 
Were the toughest
“..Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, goodnight.”

The melancholy sound 
Lingered for a moment
Emotions evaporated 
In the warm afternoon sun
Tears stopped
Then an uneasy silence
As the mourners 
Slowly left the cemetery.

He was just a regular soldier
There weren't any buglers left
The bugle 
He played
Was electronic
With the press of a button 
A sound came out  
But who was to know
It was all make believe. 

He waited
Half hidden
Under the shade of the trees
Nervously placing 
The bugle 
Back in its case
For him
There was no sense of satisfaction
Only of relief
That it was over.

Taking a deep breathe
He turned 
And walked away
Just like they told him to.