John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

A Loss like No Other


I saw her just the other day,
But, not knowing what to say, I turned away.
For she has lost her only son,
off fighting in the war.
A bootless war that lingers on
Like a chancre sore.
There are others like her;
Gold stars in windows shine-
For brave boys brought home in boxes
for “no one’s left behind. “
There’s no word that refers to her
Who has lost her only child.
A remnant who lingers here
the last one of her line.
I’ve seen her tend his graveside
like she once made his childhood bed.
She keeps the flowers watered,
trims the grass above his head.
In her Living room, a folded flag
A grateful nation’s gift
To remind her of one she loved so
Whose death left her bereft.

Submitted: Saturday, November 16, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

There is no word in our language to refer to a parent who has lost a child

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