in your honor

you moved that dial from comfort
to gone, something compelling you
drawing you to firing line and desert sands
or some great field with thorns
and you wrote a letter to that love you left
and she cried on its ink, staining an image
of loss, nonetheless, she drew on you.
you moved in line to beats that we can’t know
having not stepped out, having not been
there, but we imagine a beat of force
mingled with more fortitude than fear
and we aren’t far off the mark, are we?
something compelling your valor: is it history,
a father and grandfather buttoned up
before you? is it promise made from
country to your future? is it belonging?
please don’t tell, let me wonder.
I want to think of you in that unreachable
glory that imagination breeds, holding your
sacrifice for my freedom above the
things that compel me to imprison myself.

***

Linda BattsonLinda Battson is a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas. She spends her days selling pens and her nights engaged with those she loves. Linda enjoys authentic conversation, participating in the mental health discussion, and using writing as a tool to navigate the chaos of life. She is currently publishing her second book of poetry.

Photo By: Staff Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo