Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fallen Foot Soldiers

Late last night
After Nine
I strolled out to the stop
and waited
for my bus to come by

Standing there
I spied
Darkly donned
Fronting the funeral parlor

So I wandered
Down the block
and peeked
into the window
where I read

A familiar name
I knew
that speedy
sixteen inch softball player

But, "Who was he?"
I wondered
As I walked away

Then two steps, three
It suddenly came to me
The Precinct Captain:

Long had I seen him around
Our polling place
Since just a little child
When he'd pinch my nose away
In youthful play
With his thumb
He held it tightly with his hand
To tease

Voting Day games
Electoral entertaining
Intriguing an impressionable
Citizen kid

One day
Old enough
To cast the ballot
Now, I
would come through the door

He'd be there - waiting
We'd wave hi
"You know him?"
The judges would, surprisingly, ask
"Of course!"
We have an awfully long time

Neighbors know
And help, yes support
The Chicago Way
It ain't all that bad

I opened the door,
but now another,
Unto the box where he's cast

Looking on
To touch his casket
And an Ave
Hailed up
The Petition

With his family
Memorialize, share, support
As of always

From the parish
Today, yes,
The Church
Shall yield him last rest - his reward

As fallen foot soldiers
Are carried on home