Pine Mountain Cemetery XVII
           Danny Ray

Soldier Boy, O Soldier Boy when will
You come home to me? Song sung so
Often it could engrave each empty stone.

Two wars filled a passel of these lots,
Brave, afraid, young, erect, crack shots
All of them signed up, marched off to fight.

He didn’t have to go, two kids, sick mom
Working the indispensable job deep
In the important, they said, coal holes.

Mountain boys were a different breed,
Check your records where you can see
Volunteers from our place numbered big.

Danny Ray,12, left school when dad
Died, manned up to do the job of care
Buried a wife and newborn. Sis and lad

Aging mom and he were all the family left.
Took it on, learned at lot, loved them two. O
It was a sight to see, but a man goes when

His country calls, duty bound he said.
Two years in, a blast and bomb, Danny
Hit, felled, in time joined the other dead.

Medals they gave, ribbons too, mother cried
Alone, after the burying and ringing taps.
Wouldn’t do to give in, bravery ran in the family.

If I was to tell every tale of them so brave who
Gave it all, we’d be here for a long sad day. Mournful
Toll of our good men now sleepin’ in their grave.

Soldier Boy, O soldier boy see us here bereft.
Come back and sing and dance a dance, drink
Of life and sit with what few of us are left.