A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-97L Stratofreighter...

A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-97L Stratofreighter (s/n 52-2630) RAF Mildenhall. This aircraft is today on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boeing B-47A Stratojet 49-1902 refueled by Boe...

Boeing B-47A Stratojet 49-1902 refueled by Boeing KC-97. (U.S. Air Force photo) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You carried a duffel bag
and carbine rifle aboard the KC-97.
As your plane taxied for take-off,
I held our baby son
more tightly.
See you in a little while.
Your words beat inside my heart
louder than the plane’s big engines
which roared into another country
some hours later.
Your letters came regularly, at first,
then stopped
Missing in Action the uniformed
officers came to tell me.

Your name is engraved
on the Wall of Vietnam Veterans,
forever in my heart
and in the heart of our son
who enlisted yesterday.
See you in a little while.
His words echoed yours
as he departed.
My words stuck in my throat,
reached into my heart and
chipped at the ice caked there.
I watched another determined
young man report for duty
and I begged, oh, please
Dear God, please.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

15 comments on “A TIME TO LET GO

  1. dotlatjohn says:

    I especially like the lines: “See you in a little while. Your words beat inside my heart
    louder than the plane’s big engines”
    Poignant, powerful!


  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    Awh that is so heart-breaking, Freeda.


    • Poetry is so many things — this is one of my favorites.
      I commend you, Catherine, on your post today about getting the Doodlers to draw the cover of Jody Hedlund’s book, Rebellious Heart. You are so kind and helpful to other writers.


  3. Tammy Mykel says:

    I had read the poem before. It is very poignant . The plane pix are neat. 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Dot says:

    Nice poem, Freeda, and timeless. The pain of young men going to war will never change.


  5. Ginger Kemp Pruett says:

    It’s time to bring our young men and women home. They are sent across the oceans into another country on foreign lands they roam.
    The loved ones they left behind are praying, wishing begging oh please bring our loved ones back home to us.


  6. If this is a true writing…your heart must be breaking for sure!…mine would…


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