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Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020 and 2021,” published by Sweetycat Press. She is the author of 14 poetry books, and 1 short story book. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: Eclipse Lit, Carolina Muse, Sparks of Calliope; The Closed Eye Open, North Dakota Quarterly, Tangled Locks Journal, Wild Roof Journal, The American Writers Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Silver Blade, Pomona Valley Review, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Fourth & Sycamore.


Trigger Warning

It rained that day.        It rained hard.
It was October.           The ground was sodden.
We sat inside a glass-front pavilion / a cube of
despair / mourning. Rows of folding chairs
stood at attention. We waited for the honor guard.

Birds fell silent.          Angels cried.
Thunder & lightning broke the calm.
They could not lay him in the
sodden ground.

We wept, my brother’s family,
my mother by my side.
She ached from losing her eldest son.
No mother should outlive her child,
it is too painful to endure.
His wife and six children sat in front.

Standing in an unceasing downpour,
solemn and proud,
seven guards raised rifles high.
Eyes unblinking / a curtain of rain
flowed from polished cap visors.

Three volleys echoed eternal.
Twenty-one Gun Salute.         A bugler played.
Reverie muted by low dense clouds.
Flag folded.    The last salute.

As gun smoke settled
the clouds

How can I ever forget that haunting sound?
Emotions so thick we could not breathe.
Tears that fell on that day
were harder than any rain.
Taps – the final salute.

6 thoughts on “Taps – The Final Salute

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