November 11

November 11, 2014

November 11, in addition to being Veteran’s/Armistice Day, was my late father-in-law Yanko’s birthday.

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November 11 from Philip Martin on Vimeo.

November 11

(for Jack and Yanko)

My father was a soldier.
He still has his soldier’s ways.
He was in Indochina
for 700 days.

I don’t know what he went there for,
I don’t know what he did.
I know there was some kind of war,
But I was just a kid.

Now he sits there in the darkened den
with his cigarettes and beer.
And when my mother calls his name,
he doesn’t seem to hear.

He doesn’t talk about it.
I don’t believe he can
He did one tour of duty
then he went back again.

My father was a soldier,
And I am a soldier’s son.
I don’t know what he fought for
I don’t know what we won.

If they call me to be a soldier
I guess that’s what I’ll be.
I guess not having any choice
is what it takes to live free.

I will do my duty,
And I will live or die.
And if I’m called to fire my gun
I guess I’ll have to try.

My father paces in the night
While I lie in my bed.
He stops at my bedroom door
And sadly shakes his head.


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