Rhymes For All Reasons

The Price of Freedom

About the poem

The idea for this poem came to me one weekend as I laid over in our nation’s capitol while on the road with IBM. I spent an entire day visiting Arlington Cemetery, Lincoln’s Memorial, the Mall, and the Vietnam Wall. Walking this path, I heard these words in my mind.

As I walked around the hallowed ground, one morning brisk and cold.
In Washington’s own Arlington where young lay next to old.
I felt the very presence there of spirits in the trees,
Of those whose lives were lost in war, both here and overseas.

I looked upon the great stone mass of granite on display,
And walked among the endless tombs of loved ones where they lay.
From Civil War to Vietnam the ghosts of soldiers stood,
To guard the Gates of Freedom in solemn brotherhood.

I pondered on the lives it took to live in harmony,
And realized for that moment just what it meant to me.
The bones of sons and daughters now buried ‘neath the sand,
Where tyranny and politics begged, they take a stand.

And then I saw the many names so etched upon that wall,
And felt the pang and agony of mother’s love recalled.
I saw the faint reflections from where they once did fall,
And knew their gift of freedom was… they simply gave it all.


Rhymes For All Reasons is a collection of poetry that Robert has written over the last 40 years