Hero Farewell June 1

The slight
Feathered
Gesture
As light as breath
Reaching for one last touch
Of the polished steel urn
Resting on the edge of the concrete cavity;
Tornado dark sky,
Crackling lightning
Horses startled at the caisson.
Soldiers, ignoring wind,  
Shoes so polished,
the birds above visible in their shine
as they snap the folds
in Spence’s last flag
a long way from Inchon.
Every step, glance, word,
tone, salute, prayer.
All twenty one guns,
And then  aching silence
Exact, planful honor.
Brothers, sons, children, friends, chaplains, soldiers
pause.
Hearts clench
At the feathered reach of his woman’s hand that could not touch again.
Claude Wesley Spencer — “Spence”–was my brother in law, married to my sister Judy.

About garygunderson

Vice President, Faith Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Author, Leading Causes of Life, Deeply Woven Roots, Boundary Leaders and Religion and the Heath of the Public. Secretary, Stakeholder Health (Health Systems Learning Group).
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