His cell phone has a hinge. He’s been driving the same minivan for 15 years. His dinner is water and a bologna sandwich. He has a twenty inch TV without cable. Every dime scrutinized, every penny saved. Never uses credit. Nothing wasted. He checks his savings and 401K every month. Each year he analyses his Social Security payout statement. His sacrifice will pay off in retirement. It’s going to be done right. Travel anywhere he wants, eat anything he pleases. He won’t be dependent on anyone. For his 64th birthday his doctor gave him a surprise gift of six months.
Nothing marks the day
He left this world
No pomp, no glory
No flags unfurled
No marching parade
To fill the streets
No tears to run down
Crimson hued cheeks
No one to hold him
No one to care
Just blood stained dirt in
A war somewhere
Left to remind us
Of what he gave
So we could live free
In his land of the brave
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For a couple of weeks the phone calls and cards expressed sympathies. Then as suddenly as death itself, they stopped. For the next year, things reminded me of her; a favorite song on the radio or someone would cook a dish she liked. Now, I only remember her twice a year. On her birthday I tweet she would’ve been 104. I wish her a happy birthday in Heaven. As if they had birthdays in Heaven. On the anniversary of her death I post on Facebook how I miss her and quickly scroll on to the next newsfeed.
Oh look…tiny goats.
If it was trendy, he followed it
If it was a new pill, he swallowed it
But a man can only try again
So many times ‘til he just gives in
I moved down the stairs and through the kitchen where I saw my mother slicing potatoes into a pan of hot grease. I passed my brother, setting on the front step, gently strumming his guitar. My sister pranced about the yard in make believe games. I reached out to touch her shoulder. She shivered and quickly turned toward me.
“Can I play too”, I asked. But as she opened her mouth to speak, the only sound that came out was of a man I did not recognize.
“107 degrees,” it said. “I have no idea how he is still alive.