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Boundless Grief

By David Anderson

Inspired by the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history. It is estimated that families of half the dead never learned of their fate. Antietam changed how armies accounted for war casualties. The Tomb of the Unknowns is a tribute to those whose fate was lost forever to combat. At Antietam the pain created was unmeasurable, it rippled across the nation in ways that can never be known.

It was the final day I heard from you my love, my best friend
Now time has stopped for me for want of any news, good or bad
The seasons change but my boundless grief has not, my pain unmeasurable
If I could know your fate would I finally find some peace
It is the unknowing that tests my sanity, my memory of you unchanged

Each morning I pass the window and stop to gaze down the road at nothing
Each night I blow out the candle, I touch your pillow with my tears
Each year as my hair turns gray and my bones grow weak, my heart aches more
My memory of you lingers into a distant horizon without end
I come to an intersection with no signs to guide my grief home

I tried different paths and still end up at the same crossroads
I saw your blood-stained face, as you gasp a final breath and reach up for peace
I saw you rise from a hospital bed, lost in mind, a cripple wandering unknown streets
I saw you pause at our road and then pass by, thinking it better that I not see your pain
I saw you happy with another person in another place, perhaps it is what I wish

Now I am sure I will find my fate without knowing yours, which is my greatest pain
How long can I endure my heart bleeding out hope, searching for good memories
My eyes have no more tears for life, it is one haunted now by a ghostly fate
I beg you let me go so I may find peace, I pray that you have found yours
It was the final day I knew only happiness without grief…

Dave Anderson is a retired Air Force Colonel and Wounded Warrior. As a career Intelligence officer he pulled hot missions in the Cold War and cold missions in hot wars during his 29 years in uniform. He is a consultant and dedicated advocate for other wounded warriors.

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