“98 Year-Old Vet Dresses in Uniform One Last Time
On Veteran’s Day, Dies Hours Later”
—Huffington Post, November 2014
Master Sergeant Justus straightens
his lapels at noon, salutes the nurse,
and rests against his weary pillow.
Colors swim in Master Sergeant dreams—
blue of smoke, white of bone, red of
His leathered palms still curl
around grenades or comrades’ hands
in blasted fields.
His fingers still shove bayonets
in rifle mouths, brave legs churning
past machine gun spit.
Time is hard when death is all a hero
has, despite parades, trumpets, and
medals arrayed on chests.
Master Sergeant lies eyes-closed at
dusk, gloves pristine, dress blue spiffed,
“Till the Very End”
by Thelma T. Reyna
Altadena Poetry Review Anthology 2015
Golden Foothills Press
Thelma T. Reyna is the multiple-national award-winning author of four books: The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories; Breath & Bone and Hearts in Common, two chapbooks; and Rising, Falling, All of Us, a full-length collection of her poems.
Reyna’s work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, textbooks, blogs, and regional media for over 30 years. She is Poet Laureate of the Altadena Library District, 2-14-2016, and is editor of the Altadena Poetry Review Anthology 2015 and the newly released Altadena Poetry Review Anthology 2016.