Retrospect

It seems to me but yesteryear
I watched him fly a kite, so high
It cleared the trees, to soar into
A sky of blue-, its course so true
I marveled at the deep infinity.
Tho’ swiftly pass the years, they scarcely touch
The heart of youth. I little saw him grow
He was so close to me-, until
One day he seemed so straight and tall;
I knew that in a not far distant day
He, too, would feel his wings: my little son
With corn gold hair and eyes that laughed
With mischief in their deep blue depths.
He smiled at me the day he left;
He held me close and kissed my misted eyes.
He seemed again a little boy
Who watched a kite fly high into the skies:
And still again that little one
Whose pride and joy was in a plane:
The symbol of a day to come-,
This little one who came to me to bind
A cut and bleeding knee-, or kiss a hurt-,
Or search, a missing toy to find.
If now I shed a tear sometimes, I know
He will not mind, for deep within my heart
I know he went, as he would gladly go
Across the waste of far-flung skies.
I know he felt the breath of God, and heard
His voice those many times he flew
Into the silence of the blue,
Scarred deeply with the flare of man-made might,
With roar and belch of guns, and burst of flame.
And even there
Amid the death of war, I know God came
To fill each soul with hope and light;
The while each moment he could feel
The passing wings of death upon its flight.

His body lies on distant soil,
Perhaps unmarked, in land unknown to me.
But all the memories of that little boy
Are mine, to have, to hold, to see.
For still he lives within my heart;
Perhaps you, who know, may wonder why
My step is light, my smile is bright,
Tho’ he is gone, yet I am glad of eye.
He died for you, and you and me,
But he lives on in every tiny thing
I see, that brings him close to me.
In those young, stalwart sons of ours
We see each day upon their way,
Who went to live, and fight, and die,
To live again for Victory.

– Circa 1947

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