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I muster a halfhearted “You are going to be fine”

Four poems by James W. Bray Jr.

Hallowed Ground

  • I lay in a field of marble flowers
  • surrounded by my brothers and sisters
  • tears of the unrecalled
  • echo around this solemn place
  • carried on the wind
  • kissing every soul
  • and washing away the grime
  • that has formed on the marble
  • as days go by
  • This is Hallowed Ground
  • bought and paid for
  • by the lives
  • of the forever young
  • I’ll never ask why or why me
  • but did I do enough
  • funerals are for the living
  • so man can feel good about himself
  • isn’t man tired of feeling good

Thin Blue Line

  • It’s a thin blue line
  • between life and death
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • that says no one will hurt you
  • tonight
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • that guards the streets
  • all the while you sleep
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • I honor today
  • men and women willing to lay down their lives
  • for strangers
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • that protects all from danger
  • an oath taken by some
  • It’s a thin blue line

I Don’t

  • I don’t want to write
  • for it brings me pain
  • for it brings me tears
  • for it brings me heartache
  • I don’t want to write
  • for it reminds me of
  • what I have lost
  • what I don’t have
  • what I want back
  • I don’t want to write
  • but I have to
  • it brings me pain
  • it brings me heartache
  • it reminds me of
  • what I have lost
  • for it clears my soul

Beeps

  • I enter the room
  • to the sound of beeps
  • coming from the machines
  • that surround the person in front of me
  • the person
  • that brought me into this world
  • I pray that the beeps
  • do not stop
  • she looks up at me and says
  • I am going to die
  • how can I respond
  • when all my breath has been taken away
  • I muster a halfhearted
  • you are going to be fine
  • but I know she has made her decision
  • as I leave the room
  • I tell her I love her
  • and will see her tomorrow
  • I know that will not happen
  • I leave to the sound of the beeps

James W. Bray, Jr., was raised in Long Beach, CA. After high school, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for nine years. After leaving  the service he became a police officer and served for 17 years until he medically retired. Since retirement, he has attended Mesa and Miramar colleges, where he is majoring in English (creative writing) and Administration of Justice.

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Hallowed Ground

  • I lay in a field of marble flowers
  • surrounded by my brothers and sisters
  • tears of the unrecalled
  • echo around this solemn place
  • carried on the wind
  • kissing every soul
  • and washing away the grime
  • that has formed on the marble
  • as days go by
  • This is Hallowed Ground
  • bought and paid for
  • by the lives
  • of the forever young
  • I’ll never ask why or why me
  • but did I do enough
  • funerals are for the living
  • so man can feel good about himself
  • isn’t man tired of feeling good

Thin Blue Line

  • It’s a thin blue line
  • between life and death
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • that says no one will hurt you
  • tonight
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • that guards the streets
  • all the while you sleep
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • I honor today
  • men and women willing to lay down their lives
  • for strangers
  • It’s a thin blue line
  • that protects all from danger
  • an oath taken by some
  • It’s a thin blue line

I Don’t

  • I don’t want to write
  • for it brings me pain
  • for it brings me tears
  • for it brings me heartache
  • I don’t want to write
  • for it reminds me of
  • what I have lost
  • what I don’t have
  • what I want back
  • I don’t want to write
  • but I have to
  • it brings me pain
  • it brings me heartache
  • it reminds me of
  • what I have lost
  • for it clears my soul

Beeps

  • I enter the room
  • to the sound of beeps
  • coming from the machines
  • that surround the person in front of me
  • the person
  • that brought me into this world
  • I pray that the beeps
  • do not stop
  • she looks up at me and says
  • I am going to die
  • how can I respond
  • when all my breath has been taken away
  • I muster a halfhearted
  • you are going to be fine
  • but I know she has made her decision
  • as I leave the room
  • I tell her I love her
  • and will see her tomorrow
  • I know that will not happen
  • I leave to the sound of the beeps

James W. Bray, Jr., was raised in Long Beach, CA. After high school, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for nine years. After leaving  the service he became a police officer and served for 17 years until he medically retired. Since retirement, he has attended Mesa and Miramar colleges, where he is majoring in English (creative writing) and Administration of Justice.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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