Thursday, October 26, 2006

A War Lyric

War is only understood by those who fight one. The rest of us are witnesses.

My Son's Time To Go

Two men stood on the platform
Watching the train pull away
In the diner car their only sons
Waved goodbye that day.

One was going to Canada
One to Vietnam
Two fathers sharing wordlessly
Sorrows yet to come.

Two men fought in another war
And served there side by side
Not for flag or apple pie
But to keep each other alive.

Their sons grew up together.
They tried to raise them right.
Now one would go to speak his truth,
And one would go to fight.

No one knew if they'd come back.
Their Momma's cried and prayed.
Goodbyes break the brave and few
When a father has to say:

"Son, just fight the good fight.
Be true to who you are.
Don't try to be a hero.
Your faith can take you far.
Though I've been there and I came back,
I want you to know
How proud I am to be your Dad.
It's my son's time to go."

A soldier returned to an angry world
His cousin was standing in line
Among some far-out people
"Singing songs and carrying signs".

The grunt Marine put out his hand.
The hippie shook his head,
"Man, I don't think I know you."
The soldier wearily said,

"Kiss my ass. I'm not proud
Of all the things I've done,
My country called. I had to go
To a war that couldn't be won.

I only want to see my Mom.
If you'll kindly step aside
I won't call you 'family'.
Remember that I tried.

I went to fight the good fight.
I was true to the cause I served.
I lost my friends in the Mekong,
But I never lost my nerve.
Peace and love and all good things
Have a price, they tell me so.
I paid that price, but I'll be sad
When it's my son's time to go."

Two men stand by the window
Watching a plane pull away
Ferrying their only sons
To a place they wouldn't say.

Thirty years without a word
These men have lived apart,
Now one holds out his palsied hand
To the one with the broken heart.

"Will you come to my house, please;
So, we can kneel and pray?
The Lord will keep our sons alive
And bring them home one day.

Peace and love and all good things
Have a price, but I didn't know
How sad I'd feel to be his Dad
Now its my son's time to go.
How sad it is to be the one.
It's my son's time to go."

len bullard

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