For my Papa, and for all veterans this day…

Chief of the least

[I wrote this after my Papa died six years ago. It’s about his last few days on earth. He was a World War II veteran and great debater]

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.

3 thoughts on “”

  1. I passed through a public gathering of military men of all ages and ranks today as I made my way to work on my bicycle. I wished not to dishonour anyone stood in the morning sun so I passed through the groups of men in a gentle spirit. Do I even deserve to be among such men who volunteered to die or at least knowing that’s the big bill and that the postman could pop it through the letterbox at any point. But then what could I boast if I had all the bravery under the sun and yet dying a stranger to Christ, it would profit me nought. I made my way through the collective of black
    green and blue berets worn by young and old troops each with their own account in silence.
    We never spoke a word to each other but the
    gentleman who has gone before us silently
    present assured us of His victory and the sting of death was the greatest stranger even though the guns were silent. May God be with us.

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