Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Silver Taps

The quiet cadence of steps
Ebbs and flows into consciousness
Like waves on a distant shore
Or drops of rain on drought-stricken land.

Slowly the white-clad troupe
Makes their steady entrance
As the soft march calls
Rise to the heavens as an offering of fraternal love.

The Plaza is dark this solemn night
With only the moon to give the mourners light.
The sky seems to mark the occasion,
Blotting out all the stars of night from sight.

The moon takes on the resemblance of a host,
Its milky white orb risen up
Over the masses assembled below
With a sanctifying silver glow.

The Volunteers stand at attention,
Their hearts racing with anticipation,
Awaiting the swift salute order
Of their ready and focused commander.

The order is given to ready,
And quickly the guns are aimed.
In succession the rifles are fired steadily,
Honoring the fallen Aggies all the same.

The bugle calls its Silver Taps,
Once to the north,
Once to the south,
Once to the west...

But never is the bugle’s call
Sounded to the east
Since the sun shall never rise for them in the least
Nor their smiling faces be seen here at this place.

In the distance visitors are welcomed
By maroon block letters on a water tower
That reads "Welcome to Aggieland."
What love do the Aggies have for one another:

We say hello to the stranger
Even in the darkest of times
And, even better, say goodbye
When that stranger formerly is missing from our midst.

This is the true meaning of Aggieland, my friend,
Where the Spirit is alive, even to the very end.