Being a Marine

Cody loved the Marines,
admired their courage,
drew from their strength.

He was quite the fighter himself.

Leukemia was his enemy
and they had battled for
ten years, three times
to remission.

At twelve, his last fight
could not be won.

Showing admiration of their
own — for courage, strength,
honor — Cody was made
an Honorary Marine.

When the call came
that the time was near,
Marine Sergeant Dolfini
arrived at the hospital
in full dress blues.

For eight hours, in the middle
of the night, he stood guard
outside Cody’s door.

Through training and fighting
and enduring the extremes
we place on Marines,
the Sergeant claims the most
difficult thing he has ever done
was a week later,

when he stood by the casket,
saluted Cody, then turned
and saluted his Mom.

 

Seal of the United States Marine Corps

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13 Comments

Filed under Poetry

13 responses to “Being a Marine

  1. My son is a Marine. This is so moving. Tragic, but beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. Extremely well done.

  2. One of my husband’s friends is a Marine (special ops, years ago – but once a Marine…). I can’t imagine a more dedicated group. This story stands as a testament not only to a persevering young boy, but to the branch of the military to which he aspired, showing up and getting it done with all the dedication of going to battle. I am crying, but it’s in appreciation. Thank you. Peace, Amy (I’m a pacifist, and I support people in uniform 100%. It’s actually possible to do both. Even my husband’s friend says so…)

  3. rosemary mint

    Oh wow, what a tear-jerker, Mark (literally). Fantastic, beautiful piece. These are really heavy, sorrowful sections … definitely the best:

    “For eight hours, in the middle
    of the night, he stood guard
    outside Cody’s door.”

    “when he stood by the casket,
    saluted Cody, then turned
    and saluted his Mom.”

  4. a great subject to take on! – tough and beautiful

  5. Such a moving topic, so well-written. Loved it.

  6. All the hairs on my body just stood up. And the lump in my throat isn’t going away.

  7. Mark,

    A difficult subject to write about, but you have added caring and love with your poem. So sad when a young life is cut short far too soon.

    Eileen

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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