Memories shift through generations; pictures yellow, fray across the currents of time, worn and torn. Hushed stories talk about a life taken away too early, bone fragments in the mud, saltwater graves and grappling vines overgrowing some jungle island with a strange sounding name.
The hard sands of beaches are caught by the riptides of another time when soldiers scrambled down a ramp coming to a certain end. Families wait for word, huddled together in tight clusters listening to radio bulletins. Names are said with reverence as their ghosts gather in the shrouded mist, just on the edge always waiting, waiting to come home.
Families still search for their remains, something of who they were: a shard of metal ripped from the ancient skeletal remains of a plane that crashed; leather jackets that crumble to ash, numbers on an engine marking the place. They are the missing, waiting to be found, to come home for the last time.
Services are conducted, speeches are given by the few who remember, rifles raised in salute, flags folded with precision, placed in trembling hands. The anguished cry of taps signals the missing have come home; no matter how long it takes to find a son, a brother, a father they never knew or an uncle pictured in some grainy black and whites. It’s the journey’s end for the missing.
Copyright © Steve Zak | Year Posted 2018