The Sound of A Hero Dying (Memorial Day poem)

[I wrote this after my Papa died seven years ago. It’s about his last few days on earth. He was a World War II veteran marine who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima]

Calloused hands that loved little dogs

and showed little boys how to hook a worm

Tremble now, involuntarily and soft

Armchair politician with a dagger wit

and humor more arid than the August Mojave

Forgets now, wets his own bed

Broad hard marine with a bulldog tattoo

and played keyboard for the church of st. waltz

Withered now, Hospice choir sings

First the grandson became nephew

the nephew a Japanese conspirator

The sponge was a razor

the nurse a war criminal

Escaped his cell block while sleeping

He always preferred the back door

No national day of mourning

No brash parade in his name

Just my hold it together sobs

The only sound left of another hero dying

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

29 thoughts on “The Sound of A Hero Dying (Memorial Day poem)”

  1. Sometimes it is difficult for us to put into words the fleeting moments during a loved one’s final days…however, you have captured them beautifully! Bryan, it’s obvious you loved your “Papa” in a very special way! Your words here are so specific and they provoke a feeling of sadness…
    Many blessings
    ~streim~

  2. A wonderful tribute for all those that served! Thanks again for posting thought provoking posts.

  3. Thank God for your Grandfather and those who made this important sacrifice. This Nation is blessed because of the volunteers like him. God bless this Nation.

  4. The Spirit graces the keys on our keyboards today. Our “tatoo’d marines who loved dogs” were all heroes,regardless of whether they saw action.

    Their memory walks with us each day in the Holy Spirit.

    Have a truly Blessed and safe weekend!

  5. God bless your father, the battles he fought for us, laying their lives down for ours…following in the footsteps of Christ! Hope your having a blessed holidays Chief 🙂

  6. Thanks Bryan,

    My grandfather was a World War I veteran and my father a veteran of World War II, and I am a Viet Nam era veteran. Your tribute was especially touching and deeply appreciated.

  7. Been busy, but took a moment to catch up on your blog today. Wow, what an amazing piece. My dad, as well, served in WWII, in northern Africa and Italy, and his brother Michael died in Okinawa. Thanks for such a honest and moving portrayal of your last days with your dad. Your love for him is evident.

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