Scarlet Streets – A Poem For Memorial Day and Veterans
As we stroll down the streets of our lives
Pursuing the dreams of our hearts,
Growing old with loved ones,
And sleeping in for a snooze
Amid cozy beds on weekend mornings
Safe within suburban sanctuaries,
It is easy to forget that these paths of paradise
We walk upon, free from the mud and grime of bondage and oppression,
Were not paved with our noble pursuits, but by the past deeds of others.
The cement of freedom was not mixed with water,
But tumbled, stirred, compacted, and hardened
With rivers of patriotic blood.
Scarlet sacrifices – screams of selfless suffering and agony
Were the price paid for these royal roads
You and I walk upon, often times so carelessly.
The horror of prison is an unknown concept
Simply because of the service of a select few
Who volunteered to be bound under ball and chain
So that our sentence may go unserved.
When’s the last time you’ve taken a moment
To appreciate the solid surface you walk upon?
When’s the last time you’ve appreciated the gift
You have to come and go as you please,
Free to pursue the deepest desires of your heart?
If you find the streets you walk upon are
Black asphalt laid with the poison of self-pity
Or white concrete mixed with the salty sweat of your brow,
It may be time you pick up a history book,
For anytime you are free to think
And walk unhindered by shackles,
You can be sure your streets were paved with the price of blood.
Our streets are the scarlet sacrifices
Of heroes so often forgotten about.
Freedom is not an entitlement,
But a privilege and gift that’s been paid for with a hefty price.
Even now, the spirit’s of those fallen heroes
Lay beneath our feet, entombed in the concrete
Of our nation’s royal streets,
Hoisting us up high above the world,
Resting upon their shoulders,
Free from the mud and grime of bondage and oppression,
So that we have the opportunity to wander
Wherever our hearts may lead us,
Wherever love may find us,
And wherever life may take us.
-Poem Written by Justin Farley
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