Across the Rainbow Bridge
At the foot of the bridge they met
For the last journey they would share
Partners even in this final travail
So right that together they came to be there.
|Butch about 1996|
The first steps were painful and slow
But each stride grew more sure and free
As the pains and the cares fell away
For soon such would no longer be.
The dog's drooping tail slowly rose
To the proud banner he used to fly;
The man's shoulders lifted as age peeled away
And he held his head proud and high.
Side by side they mounted the arch
Paused at the crest for one last
Lingering glance at the world left behind
But they both knew that time was now past.
Down now to the bright fields below
Where waiting to greet, row on row--
So many dear friends gone before
All well loved ones that they used to know.
Underfoot the grass sweet and green,
Overhead the sky bright and blue
The dogs can all frolic and play
While the people old friendships renew.
With a cup of coffee in hand
And dogs all sprawled at his side--
My hero and friend waits for me,
Until with him again I abide.
Selfish in my love and needing
I resisted this final goodbye
But time marches on so relentless
And the last formation drew nigh.
I knew that the trumpet had sounded,
Knew you would answer that call,
Realized it was right, good and proper
And found I could smile after all.
Your step was not quite as steady
But you held your head high and proud
As you strode out to join your comrades
In that parade for the heavenly crowd.
Once again that small band of brothers
Stand assembled upon Fiddler's Green.
I blink when at once the young faces
Square shoulders and brave hearts are seen.
But I know 'tis the truth I have seen
And my heart spills pride, joy and sorrow
For my Hero, my Love, my Marine.
A Wish, A Prayer
Is it time now to move on
Not dwelling on all that is gone
But facing forward, to a road
Down which I have never strode?
Can I chart myself a course,
And hold to it without the source
Of so much of past goals and dreams,
Play now single, not with teams?
Yet inside me dwells a woman’s strength,
Enough to see me down the length
Of this new way I walk alone
‘round bends, up hills and all unknown.
And inside me beats a woman’s heart
Its love and courage are a part
Of who I am and what can be
If I can just have faith in me.
Mother, guide my faltering steps
And clear my eyes to new concepts,
Shape my life as you would choose,
And half-sole my old traveling shoes.
My life goes on, an endless road
Despite time’s lamentations,
Another hill, another bend:
Each has its compensations.
As long as tasks remain undone
I cannot cease my travels
Sometimes there’s joy and sometimes pain
As time’s long skein unravels.
My life is an unfinished tale
In spite of its vexations
Somewhere someone inscribes them all—
My trials and tribulations.
As long as love lives in my soul
I’ll find the strength for trying,
Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone,
For fate there’s no denying.
Apologies to the old Shaker hymn
Yes, I will, I must go on
Even though so much is gone
From the life that I have known,
Even though I go alone.
Such loneliness is nothing new
For t’was my lot long before you.
I tried to wall away my heart
And somehow keep the world apart
From my fragile private self
But no one can live upon a shelf,
Discrete, apart and solitary,
Never joyful, carefree, merry.
So never say I was not brave—
Or holding back, that hurt to save.
In truth my epitaph will tell:
She loved not wisely but all too well.