The Load ― Remembered

Carrying the Burden

The Load ― Remembered

The metal hanging
from a chain around
his drooping neck ― kept.
His courage ― endures.
His heart ― remembered.
His load ― in pictures.
His cold ghost ― in the beyond.

But no record of back pain.
No recollection of his warmth.
No discussion of limbs,
shorn like Samson’s hair.

Alone, he shivered in the darkness.
He thought of home.
He thought of better days.

Yet nothing could fill the absence
of his soul defeated
by the echoing blast of his first kill.


This is my memorial day contribution.

I got the picture from

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on May 30, 2011, in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. I think this is wonderful. Had a lump in my throat reading it. You’re a great writer! 🙂

  2. Tammy, Thanks for your memorial day contribution today with this poem. I feel you captured the haunting essence of war. As well as the gratitude we feel with those who have served for us in our military. It is such a complex mixed feeling.
    From another standpoint, my husband has served as an Army Reserve RN in Iraq. For him, taking care of these soldiers doing the hard job was a difficult experience and a unique insight into exactly the sacrifice given by them. May we always remember and through poems like yours it helps. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your talent!

    • Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate that you shared the insight about your husband’s experience. You comment chocked me up a bit.

  3. Love the verse. Took me back to my past life on Iraq, timor, serving in the Australian army..

  4. Sad and brave all at the sametime. I’ve been helping a marine whoseleg was put back together five years ago. Still lives in agony and pain!they are our heroes and deserve the utmost respect and help. God bless our country of men that r still fighting for us! The ones who came home maywe help as much as possible! Great poem!

  5. WOW … definitely reminds how my Memorial Day started with me waking up to the movie Taking Chance. Talk about DEEP. Certainly emotional enough to inspire anyone to make the most of every day.

  6. I think this poem is lovely and very sad. Thank you for writing it. I put you up as a link on my website too.

  7. I’m afraid I know that picture far too well. I also know the mindset, the struggles, both external and perhaps more devastatingly, internally. I wrote several related poems in 2010; Weight-upon-my-shoulders, Shadows, Breathless, Camaraderie. Perhaps not as well penned as yours, but I’m learning. Great write, and thank you for the opportunity to read your wonderful contribution to Memorial Day. Bravo Zulu!

    • Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot when a vet likes this poem. I never went through this. I only know how to write, so I have to look at what others say and extract the essence. When someone like you makes this kind of comment, then it makes me know I knew what I was doing.

      And also, thanks for making a comment on the page. People need to realize that half of the blog are the discussions that happen after the blogger initiated the topic, so to speak.

  8. Yes it can get lonely without feedback!

  9. Powerful imagery, T. Very moving and evocative…thank you for honoring our dads, brothers, sons, relatives who have given all for our freedoms.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Comments on blog are very important because they preserve the continuity of discussion.

      I’m glad you liked it.

      I don’t just honor OUR soldiers, but this honors any soldier. I have people who served in other countries who say that this touched them. That means a lot to me. US is not the only place where we send to soldiers to fight for freedom.

  10. Powerful write, especially in its brevity. My mind immediately went to a soldier’s letter I heard read on PBS, so, wonderful job consider you’ve not served. Thanks for visiting and commenting the other day, cheers~

    • did u serve?

      the reason i could do it was because i researched poems written by those who did serve, and just improved on them a little. 🙂

      thanks for making a comment. i hope you subscribe and come back.

  11. ah man that really kicked me. in the guts. very evocative writing… thank you

  12. such a powerful write, touching too …. loved coming to your blog.

  13. Hi. You’re a talented writer and this is very powerful…good composition and end. Keep them coming. Regards,

  14. this was a very moving&heart felt poem,very well done.

  15. Vert nice Tammy.

  16. a sad piece but totally captures the emotions indeed! Happy gooseberry day!

  17. This is beautifully expressed right on the prompt. The sacrifice made by soldiers is awesome, but it was your last stanza that hit full on.

  18. Sincere and beautiful.


  19. Yes, it is that weight we carry that makes us strong. A thoughtful, interesting poem.

  20. your words point out a lovely imagery there,
    amazing talent.

    Happy Valentine’s Day.


  21. Beautiful poem showing the pain.

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