Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Poem for Memorial Day

 Freedom Isn't Free...

Iwo Jima Memorial

Memorial Day, 2021



For Cpl. R. J. Roberts, USMC

America At War In Iraq – March 2003


The message on my computer screen

said click on The Presidential Prayer Team –

the Adopt Our Troops link

and be given a soldier to pray for

until the end of the war


I didn't know any soldiers

stationed in Iraq, personally

soldiers who startled us with Shock & Awe

soldiers who endured stinging sand

blazing days and shivery desert nights

Didn't know any who engaged in combat

manned planes, ‘copters and tanks

or risked biological warfare

during that arduous trek to Baghdad

Didn't know any at all

so I clicked on the website

…but was unable to access the link


When the morning paper arrived

the front page held a full-color photo

of a British medic

examining a newborn Iraqi baby

cradled in a cardboard box

with the flaps torn off

I placed my hand upon the soldier


Jesus, bring him home, whole


laid my hand upon the infant


O Lord, please have him grow up

safe and strong

in a land free of terror…


At work, later that morning

a co-worker approached my counter

softly singing a hymn

How lovely to hear singing

in times like these, I remarked


My son left Tuesday, she said


Our eyes locked

mother to mother


I'd like to adopt your son, I told her

I'll pray for him every day

until he comes home


He is a Marine, she said

serving in the air delivery platoon

Cpl. R. J. Roberts

He'll be on the ground

distributing supplies in Iraq


I know he'll return


Our pastor prophesied

a few years ago

that R. J. will become a preacher


He's not a preacher yet…

though I suppose

there's a very good chance

he may be preaching right now


When I got home

I fastened a yellow ribbon

to my front porch railing


Maude Carolan

Maude's book, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!" is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For information, visit her website at:

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