Cowboy Poetry: A Veteran

PHOTO COURTESY ADOBE STOCK/ MIKHAYLOVSKIY

He was getting old and paunchy, and
his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling
stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in, and
the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they
were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbours,
his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly for
they knew where of he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer, for
ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer for a
Veteran died today.

He won’t be mourned by many, just
his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet
sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family,
going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his
passing, ‘tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing
and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories, from
the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran, goes
unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution, to the
welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who in times
of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country, and
offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend, and the
style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate, to the
service that he gives.
While the ordinary Veteran, who
offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps
a pension, small.

It is not the politicians, with their
compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom, that
our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
with your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some copout,
with his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran, his
home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran, who would
fight until the end.
He was just a common Veteran, and
his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us,
we may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
we find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles, that
the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honour, while
he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage,
at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in the
paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING
— A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”

This poem was passed along to me four days after last years’ Remembrance Day celebrating the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. If anyone knows the author, please contact me so it can be properly attributed — because it sure should be. — Terri Mason, Editor.

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