They say that in a family of storytellers no one ever dies.
Perhaps they are right.
They also say silence is the sound of money.
I know they are right about that.
Nobody spoke your name for years.
In every war, greedy men make great piles of money.
The rich get richer
The poor get poorer
Janis Joplin had it right, that thing she said about freedom.
Fifty years have passed since your passing.
We lost a lifetime with you.
Freedom is just another word for nothing else to lose
What else was there?
William Stafford, the poet, he said that if it should happen
You wake up and Armageddon has come,
July 24, 1966
Our family’s Armageddon.
They say we keep you alive by telling these stories
I pray they are right
This is all we have left of you
These fading photographs and
Stories that will soon enough be long forgotten.
Karen Spears Zacharias is a Gold Star Daughter and the author of After the Flag has been Folded (HarperCollins).