When You Volunteer

— Nick Butterfield

     When the dust of the streets is swept into an Armory,
You feel as though you are filling in for no one.

     And if you were to leave, there would continue
To be no one.

     Your shiny face may of meant something to someone.
To Someone that no one else would notice.

     And what was not there is replaced by caring,
Not sympathy or good works done once a year…

     More then the dusty smell of my Grandma’s attic.
There, I found a small Bible

     in a large chest that my great great grandpa
carried with him during the Civil War.

     I learned from his Memoirs, he was disappointed
he did not die a hero,

     But was given a medical discharge for lice infestation.
He regretted years later that he had to burn his uniform.

     He went on to live and started a Medical School with his wife
In Wisconsin.

     Because I breathed that dust,
I could be that something no one else would do.

     Made of the dust of something that could.

One thought on “When You Volunteer

  1. The anecdote about the grandfather is the heart of this poem. Dust is–well–just dust until it is seen through the grandfather’s life, and what is left behind in that musty attic is not so much dust as it is a rich heritage and history. It is a road that has been paved for you to walk in the ways of kindness and charity.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s