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This wrestler isn’t ready yet for college,
instead he’s shaved his head for the Marines.
It isn’t that he has no taste for knowledge
but hungers to divine what freedom means. 

A grandfather was crippled in Korea,
shelled in an LSI, the Inchon landing.
He’s had enough of poets’ logorrhea,
What do they know?  His dad, the lone man standing, 

saved a patrol bushwhacked in Viet Nam. 

Inked on his helmet as he goes to war 

are lines from David’s 27th Psalm,
words to be said when A-10 Warthogs roar: 

   Though an army encamp against me,
   I shall not be dismayed.
   Though war be declared against me,
   I shall be unafraid. 

This is our day for honoring the dead.
Mourners gathered just down the street from me
for a young captain, and his pastor said
the entire psalm by way of elegy: 

   I believe I shall see
   the good of the Lord
   in the land of the living, 

by which King David meant eternity.

Timothy Murphy