Days Unending

After we’ve returned home

From all the beers and BBQs
From all the well meaning “Thank Yous”
Misplaced yet appreciated
We place our keychains back on the hook
A single dog tag clanking against hardware

The KIA bracelet still sits on our wrist
Or upon a mantle
Next to a picture
The sun goes down on celebration
The next day rises but their memory remains

Perhaps faded
Perhaps dulled
But ever present

No matter what the calendar says
Their presence is felt
We remember…always

When we heard
When we saw
When we held
When we lost

So ask not why we frown when others smile
Why we tear up for no discernible reason
Why the rage spills from us without provocation

Why we wake screaming in the night
Or barely sleep at all
Why we beg forgiveness when there is nothing to rectify

The reasons lie with them
Cloaked under our freedoms
That for which they have sacrificed
Forever marked with honor

For us the date comes not once a year
But rather each day
For all the days of our lives

And with it the questions
The guilt
The torment of second guessing
The brotherhood severed

For us, there are some days that are never gone
Some days that have forever altered
Some days that we try

We honestly try
To live beyond
If not for us, but for the loved and lost

Please understand
For many
For most

Those days are the days unending