From the Fiery Embers

Dedicated to the men and women of the United States Military

Veterans Day, 2002

By Art Myrick

Flames rip viciously at fresh fuel
Consuming gradually, gracefully, gasps of time.
There within the boiling coals
Lie the moments of my life.


I am an American fighting man…


Sonia readies our children for church

Todd discovers wondrous sights in a cereal bowl

Sherry twirls the bows of her pigtails

Rags the pup discovers his own tail

at a circle’s end on the patio

Twiggy the Oscar swirls her world

in anticipation of a goldfish breakfast

“Late, late for an important date!”

screeches Max the Macaw.


I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life...


The dampness of this cavern

Celebrates the glow of the flame

Strange shapes cascade the walls

Dancing a bizarre cadence

To the dead quiet of the night

My men rest and I think

In this foreign cold warmth.


…dedicated to the principles which made my country free…


Meals-Ready-to-Eat they claim

Sonia’s rock to a real food tune

To correct my kids at the dinner table

Would delight my core

Even as mashed potatoes hit the floor.


I am prepared to give my life in their defense…


Fallen leaves decay

Fallen as my fellow soldiers

I should be home raking

Instead I lift friends

The bags of similar color

But much heavier here.


I will trust in my God…


I love the rhythm of home…

A carpet to be cleaned

The broken belt of a sewing machine

Oil that needs change

Unruly weeds to be tamed

Bedtime stories that must be read

Love words that should be said

…I miss it.


…and in the United States of America.


The loneliness of this time

The aching sorrow of my soul

Do not at all equal

The losses of my people.

But I must quiet those

Who threaten mine.

For I am the eye of the eagle

The clenched fist of my nation

The deliverer of its justice

The bearer, or withholder, of its mercy.


I will never forget that I am an American fighting man.


The ash of the fire reminds

My quest - to  avenge the tons that fell

On a fall day in September.