Today is Veteran’s Day, and a day all Veterans can be proud of their service. Every Veteran spent part of his life in unselfish service to our great country, and we sometimes lose sight of the gift that freedom gives us in this country. Don’t let the political arguments drown out the good in America. Don’t let an increasingly angry and violent political climate blur the true basic goodness of all of us. Next week, I will turn 75, and age has become more than a number for this aging body. But, I am most proud of the Veteran label on my Driver’s License, and am proud of the young men and women who, with me, spent part of their lives in the service. Just to be alive feels like victory. And, today’s poem tries to capture that feeling. 

I am 75 today.

It feels like victory.

I have taken my medication.

I walked downstairs.

I made it to my chair.

It feels like victory.

I am joined in life

by my friends

and those who love me.

I have cast aside

the ones who don’t,

and they aren’t in the room.

It feels like victory.

I remember a young soldier,

full of himself,

and a young student,

preparing for a life lived in service.

I remember wars and death and lost lovers,

and tragedy.

I remember triumph and joy.

It feels like victory.

Every joint and muscle

in my body


but, I can still feel the breeze,

and breathe the air.

It feels like victory.

My clothes don’t fit anymore.

The trim young soldier

can no longer wear the uniform.

My ears can’t hear anything

in the upper registers,

and hair grows in places

it never did before.

But, it feels like victory.

Don’t cry for me

if I die today.

I had many days

in which I didn’t.

I lived many days

beyond my expiration date.

It is a victory. .rickpensive