An ordinary New Jersey boy, nineteen.
In Brittany the shrapnel shell that killed
your pal, engendered dark, shut down a sheen
of innocence. Your generation filled
our stories, and some thanks that war was stilled
are owed. These lines, inadequate between
your monuments, my humble gift; a mean
repayment from a rhymer all unskilled
in awe, remembering your laughter: deep
chuckles you left around like colored light,
I knew why they all loved and cherished you.
Nursed well enough by grandma, always true,
to see you to the rest. Eternal quiet,
at Arlington an honored guest’s asleep.