So Long Ago was Yesterday; I thought it was Gone…but I was wrong. I understand now; I was stuck Here all along.
Now that I know, can I go?
No. Not now, maybe not ever. You have to remember, see? I need you to remember me. My family long ago passed on, they kept my picture right above the mantle, and I carried theirs’. I carried ours. Draped it around my 18 year-old neck like the roses on a Derby winner; around my neck like the rifle I carried. Around my neck just like my dog tags-the one’s that made that certain sound when they touched. You must remember. I am not a ghost, there are no such things. I am just a memory, dead in the dust, gone like the wisp of smoke that curled from the tip of the gun that killed me. Remember me, now and then.
More now. The children are on the battlefields today- at this very minute-with eyes of cornflower blue. Searching the horizon, squinting against the glare of sunlight that slants off the desert rock like a razor. Blue eyes scanning roadsides, green eyes scouring midnight skies for tell-tale vapor trails. Brown eyes staring blindly back at the insides of their night vision goggles, looking into eternity.
” Sweet Child in time, you ought to see the line-the line that’s drawn between the goodness and the bad. See the blind man? He’s shooting at the world; the bullets flying, taking their toll…If you’ve been bad (lord, I’ll bet you have) and you’ve not been hit, not been hit by flying lead; you’d better close your eyes-you’d better bow your head…
Wait for the ricochet.”
©DeepPurple Sweet Child in Time
I came across this post I wrote a few years ago, and it resonates with me today in light of recent events. War is always the worst of mankinds’ inhumanity, nothing has changed in the years since Vietnam. I was a baby when first exposed to war thru a little black box that sat on a shelf next to where Mother sat me in my crib some 50 odd years ago. To this day the sound of chopper blades overhead stops me in my tracks; I peer up in questioning wonder-not sure what I am looking for. Maybe my Mom’s cammo-clad lover to rappel down and proclaim fatherhood of me, maybe for shots to ring out and stop my questions forever…
Today I am exposed to a little black tablet that bombards me with images of my unborn sons and daughters dressed in their uniforms, riding in Hummers, riding in wheelchairs, riding in hearses, riding away, always away…Day after dreaded year the casualties mount while my one life ebbs away: How many have sacrificed themselves in my 57 years? Have I even cried that many tears in this lifetime? How many is enough (Children? Tears?) to give to the General’s who orchestrate this endless miserable charade.
I feel sick. All the time. And when I think of Johnny, I cry. I know and I believe and I am promised and he is promised, PROMISED a resurrection by the One true Ruler of this Universe, so soon I will hold my soldier in my arms and look long into those crystal blue living eyes.
Until then, I will think of Blue-Eyed Johnny, and I will remember…