I drove by your home today
Your flag out front appeared amiss
"Erika, the Red" still in the driveway
Was the flag a sign of some distress?
Perhaps for the country you swore to defend
In 2016 the returns came in
You spoke with pride as a veteran
Celebrations aside, the world turned grim.
Or was your flag a sign instead
Of your widowed life these past nine years
Declining health, a foreboding dread
Between the sad and silent tears.
Neither plans for projects, nor poetry
Nor community of friends could quiet the din
Growing old alone you'd not foreseen
Now you're reunited with your dear Charlynn.
While your voice is stilled and quiet, my friend
Your passing peaceful, spirit strong
We'll remember you by stroke of pen
And mourn your absence and singular song.