When I was a lad
the dead were dead
and the past long gone
I could not feel the pull of souls that no longer burned.
I wept not for the blood
poured out across the ages
Now it be a different story, a crowd of souls lingers round about me.
If I should not know them all by name, I feel their presence very clearly.
Gallant men and women who lived and died in all the usual ways.
Maybe nothing extraordinary shown on any given day.
They laughed and cried and struggled to be alive.
Some I am sure believed they died in vain.
To give your life on some bloody beach, or on the plains never to see your child just born].
To expire in the dirt and squalor of the poor, to go to the executioner’s floor for a cause you can’t ignore.
A granny with a cornucopia of grandchildren stooped by the weight of a full cotton sack.
A child gunned down in a drug turf cross fire.
To live and die with just dignity.
I feel their essence and reap their sacrifices every day. The life extinguished on this great orb is so truly priceless as to raise goose bumps on my skin.
I never held your hand or was there when you died.
I never walked the road you chose.
I never felt your presence as a child, but now a great host of courageous souls gathers all about me.