Remembering the forgotten

We don’t publish many poems, but with the Veterans Day Parade being held in Kapaa on Saturday, and Veterans Day coming up on Nov. 11, and with this island’s commitment to honoring our veterans, the following seemed like a good reminder of those who gave much for the rest of us and a reminder that while they have done much for us, it’s our turn to do more for them.

•••

The Forgotten American

He is a homeless American.

It is a corporate America.

Tis the land of the Free

He is sleeping on the steps of the capital

Sleeping on the steps of the capital

Bottle in hand and shopping cart full

He’s got a park bench address

And a newspaper blanket

A cigar butt ash can

And a tattered jacket

You can hear him snoring

While he waits for The Man

A veteran in his own war

He has a beef with Uncle Sam.

At the capital

Tired and tormented

you wont see him in the news

He’s the faceless American

Proud tried and true

He is a little dirty

Smells like piss and gin

Government check in hand

His life mighty grim

He was a damn good soldier

Husband son and dad

But was lost in a mine field

Sole survivor, he went mad.

Now he babbles to his mother

Sweetheart and his son

He is looking for his buddies

All dead except for one

At the capital

“Good morning Miss secretary

Is Uncle Sam ready

To hear my story

And shake my hand

Will he thank me for helping

To protect our Land”

This mindless man wonders

Can Uncle Sam be seen

And who made this monster

This capitalistic machine.

Because we won and we conquered

We fought with all our might

We raged we killed and were tortured

For the sake of Human Rights

At the capital

This confused old man

With tears on his cheek

Let out a sigh knowing

The last answer he did seek.

“Please kind lady

I truly need to know….

But where in the hell did my buddies go?”

He kindly gave his thanks

And sadly shook his head

For his far off look was

Filled with dread

At the capital

Well now he’s back to business

Collecting cans

Direct from the employees

Of Uncle Sam

Here you’re sure to find him

Both day and night

Because he lives in the park

With the capital in sight

And each and every day

People pass him by

With a look of disgust

In their eyes

Do they see him cry

Do they wonder why

At the capital

So who gets our glory

Our country or our dead

Or the innocent bystander

Who gets shot in the head

But what about the citizen

Lost without a trace

A truthful tragic casualty

Of the Human race.

And it is a painful beauty

To see this ragged man

He does have a name

Just ask him …

He is

The Forgotten American.

•••

Jana Power is a resident of Kauai

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