Anyway

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 23:44 -- Erin D.

 

That summer I had just turned nineteen

Is when I saw you in shorts of camouflage green.

You saw me when you were playing football with some pals

And I was merely passing by with my gals.

Your pals screamed, “Dude, come back and finish the play!”

But with a soft smile, you ignored them and approached me anyway.

 

“Two peas in a pod” is what everyone used to say,

“Inseparable at the hip since that very first day.”

“Come walk me home,” I used to plead.

You used to groan at hearing my tone of childish need.

You were supposed to go home and be on your way,

But with a soft smile, you came with me anyway.

 

That following summer we went to the July 4th Ball.

You stepped away to take that dreadful call.

When I was named “Miss USA” with a crown,

You came back to tell me you loved my gown.

I knew something was wrong with your dismayed display,

But with a soft smile, you stayed silent anyway.

 

“Sweethearts for life” is what everyone used to say,

“Wait ‘til we see them exchange vows on their wedding day.”

But not a single soul warned me of this heartbreak,

Or even what this country would put at stake.

In disbelief I asked, “This is how you want to pay?”

But with a soft smile, you nodded your head anyway.

 

Days had passed in the blink of an eye.

Who would’ve known we’d have to say our goodbye?

Whenever I’d bring it up and almost start to cry,

You’d give me a Superman hug and sigh.

You were supposed to be home - with me - to stay,

But with a soft smile, you left anyway.

 

I could hear the sound your dog tags made

Over the country music you constantly played.

I felt the thumps your boots made on the floor

Before you walked out our front door.

I swore I’d be fine on that rainy day

But with a soft smile, you broke my heart anyway.

 

You embraced that terminal with such pride,

Meanwhile I tried to place my emotions aside.

We took a moment to stare at the gray sky.

I was just praying to God that you wouldn’t die.

I said, “Be safe and be strong, okay?”

But with a soft smile, you looked at me and cried anyway.

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