Where Uncle Sam Is Buried

I went to a meeting.

They read a letter.

A member of the club

went to the American Cemetery

outside Manila to find

the grave of his uncle.

They found the grave

and wrote a letter

addressed to the club.

It told of a twenty-three

year old soldier in

World War Two,

captured on the Bataan

Peninsula and led on

the Death March without

food or water who died

of malaria in a concentration

camp and never came home

to Wisconsin. The family

brought home word half

a world and over half

a century later. The

old man who read

the letter almost wept

and the room fell silent

as everyone realized but

didn’t want to say

they feared despite

the sacrifice of a young

soldier named Sam

and all his comrades

in the swamps

and steaming jungles of

a place so far away,

that Uncle Sam has

died and his nation

lies beside him

in the grave.