Many years ago I took a trip with some friends and we had a most amazing experience in Washington D.C. The memorials to Presidents Lincoln and Jefferson, the National Mall, the overall intense sense of place…. It was all a creative flashpoint for me, visually and spiritually. Now, I am not a poet. I have written some horrific poetry, but I think everyone who uses language on any level has done so at some point. I’m trying not to beat myself up over it anymore. It’s how I learn. Specifically how I’ve learned to stick to fiction.
Anyway, given the gravity and tenor of the last 10-plus years in our nation, and the specific dignity of this day in general, I wanted to share a piece of writing that came from that decade-ago D.C. trip. It’s not much. Just a piece of writing that might not be horrible. Or is less horrible, at any rate, and my meager attempt to honor the pinacle of that trip for me.
Back then, both my mother and one of my writing mentors were kind enough to encourage me to submit it to VFW Magazine. Those folks were gracious enough to publish it in an issue a short time later. I am not a poet, but…if I could be, I’d hope to be inspired so viscerally every time I held my pen. My years-ago trip to the capital was profound. These few stanzas were the only way I could process the magnitude of emotion I felt then and still feel for this specific holiday.