THE GENERAL

Written by: Carol Zic

The General stands at attention, West Point tall and straight
Gazing upon row after row of white headstones
On his shoulders lay the finality of their weight
Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, gone too soon
Leaving families and friends staring at idle vacant rooms
The General remembers John Carroll, dad to Ian and Cheryl
Tucker Brown, Nicol Hood, David Yee, Linda Farrell
And Bill Markham son of school teachers Bill and Carol
Names and faces boomerang relentlessly inside his head
As he wonders when if ever the list will ever end
The General’s anguish as always is hidden from sight and sound
Years of discipline and training keep his feelings internally bound
He’ll issue exact and calculated battle orders knowing full well
The inevitable consequences of his actions will take him into hell
The General raises his arm in a perfect salute
As he strains to keep his visage calm and resolute
Hoping his appearance and poise reflect his affection and respect
For his military family lost in battle to his sorrow and regret
(And to whom he and America owe an unfathomable debt)
Rifles fire, “Taps” resounds, each soldiers’ earthly debts unbound 
Brave soldiers now eternally asleep in hallowed ground
Grieving, the General curses the consequences in what all wars abound
He speaks to comrades denied life yet reborn in innocence absent sin
 “Listen up, Soldiers, as I affirm your value to country, kith and kin
You were the best of our Nation’s assets, special and unique,
We will mourn your absence with our every heartbeat
For the brevity of your lives that war made incomplete
I was Country proud to serve with you
And Military proud to command you, too,
I’m a better man and soldier having served in your behalf
In God's Hands He’ll make sure you rest in peace at last”.