Freedom Is Not Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.
I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!
By: Emily Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson
“Before the ice is in the pools,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!”
Snow bites the face like prickly pellets of pain
Whirling wind throws its insults at you like cold icy water
Your skin feels the nip and nibble of Jack Frost’s breath
Tears, against your will, seep from the corners of your eyes
You tug at your scarf to cover exposed cheeks
Each step you can feel the deep snow enter your boots and pierce your woolly socks
The trees sway above and sprinkle more snow on an already covered ground
Grabbing the firewood and heaping it high in your arms- heavy
All you can think about is what the warmth of the fire is going to feel like
Leaning into the heat and taking it in
The sub-zero temperatures are not meant for our kind
Beautiful to look at from behind glass and in front of a crackling fire
Under a blanket and book in hand
Stew on the stove and tea in the kettle
Sweet dreams will hopefully arrive when I hit my pillow