A Solemn Return


The gentle glide of a single drop

caresses the cold hard pane.

An inky darkness lingers lowly

muting the shades of life below and

Damp ground welcomes back that which she bore.

She cannot tell the difference of salt and sky;

both soak her depths with their steady descent.


A solemn party stands waiting

faces like blank slates,

their hearts rage within.

A solitary sob breaks the oppressive silence;

the cry of one broken beyond repair.


Six suits carry a brown box of weighty import

their rows of shining medals ring with each halting step.

Red, White and oh so blue, a folded memory:

A sham of a condolence placed in her arms.

Held tight to her quavering chest,

she whispers an inaudible “Thank you.”


There is no real gratitude.

Just empty words-something to say.

She doesn’t want this symbol of freedom,

this paragon of American liberty to rest on the mantle.

No, not when she knows what it’s replacing.


It’s the gentle arms, the warm breath, the easy “I love you” she wants.

It’s the sleepy Sundays, the quick smile, the genuine laugh she misses.

It’s the slow dances in the dark, the jump of passion in her veins she desires.

Not this cold lump of star-spangled fabric.


The synchronized blast of 21 guns,

a quick rehearsed prayer, a few anecdotes

and it’s over.

Faces turn downward and arms rise in salute;
the fallen one returns home.


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741