The doorbell rang while she was baking bread.
She glimpsed them through the window by her door,
And slid down weeping to the foyer floor;
Until she let them in he was not dead.
Her husband came to answer it instead.
"Are you okay?" He knew. He'd been to war.
"Mother, are you okay?" he asked once more.
"I'll never be okay again," she said.
Their son was buried two weeks to the day.
The rifles fired, a bugle sounded taps.
She was clear-eyed, her husband wept. Perhaps
He knew the price that they had yet to pay.
They grieved their son for years, then cancer came,
And as he died, he called the dead boy's name.
Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt of Marines