A Salute at Sunrise

Médéa There are boys I grew up with
that I will never grow old with.
Who took all of their tomorrows away
because they saw no way out of yesterday.
I found my peace with their choice to leave,
through tombstone testimonies
of my own survived suicides,
and eulogies that sang praises
we never said
when they still had ears to hear.

I know the battles they fought
behind the veil of their smiling eyes,
for every man I have ever met
was a soldier fighting a father’s war.
A son taught how not to feel,
whose tongue twists,
unable to speak
the language of his own heart
until it becomes metal
and as mute as our early graves.
A brother who thinks vulnerability a weakness
at the cost of something as valueless as pride.
Flowers only lay atop our resting place
as death follows the fatal burden
of man’s deaf desperation.
Live for those boys claimed by their war
who don’t get to see today.
Bring them your flowers on their battlefields.

How I wish I could have been there in those trenches
with you during your blackest night,
when dawn seemed such an impossible distance.
With tears masked by the morning dew,
I will think of you at sunrise.

– ian galloway