The Flag My Grandpa Knew
by Ronnie Hatfield
I remember how, each morning, he'd rise before us
and I'd hear his muffled footsteps, as he padded down the hall.
The many years he'd labored, had left his body bent and gray,
but Grandpa had a reason, for getting up each day.
A well-worn box sat on a shelf, beside his rocking chair,
I don't known where it came from, seems it always had been there.
Inside the box, a tattered cloth, of crimson, blue, and white,
and he'd gaze at it each morning, with tears that dimmed his sight.
On special days, he raised it still, on the pole outside our door,
and he'd tell us kids, in reverent tones what that tattered cloth stood
"The red reminds me of the Wheatfield, where Pickett's men were
when seven thousand good men fell, amidst the bloodied grain."
"The blue, I guess, brings back to mind, the loneliness and cold,
of a Shenandoah winter, a thousand miles from home."
"And the pure white stars, well they're generals, for Jackson,
Stuart, and Bee,
and that big one in the middle there, is for Robert Edward Lee!"
"Each bullet hole is a battle won, each tear is a comrade lost,
each stain is for a wounded friend, who paid the final cost."
Ol' Grandpa must have loved that flag, he stayed near it every day,
and so Grandpa took it with him, when he finally passed away.
And if there's a flagpole up in heaven, there's no tear in Grandpa's eye,
cause I know he's back in uniform, and his beloved flag flies high!