Posted by: donnatallman | November 11, 2016


A Veteran’s Day dedication to the men and women who have served and are serving our nation in the military.

Photo by Donna Tallman



Clouds slip silently across the sky.

A leaf stirs. Then another.

They beckon the fallen,

To circle up

For an Indian Summer dance.



A gentle gust rustles.

Rising on a wish, floating on a dream.

Watch them soar.

Suddenly, they are



Bang!Storm Shelter

Ominous nimbi screech to a heavenly halt.

Two-mile pile-up in the sky.

Momentum gone.

Rhetoric. Rancor.

Despair spills rain below.



A laser light exposes my silhouette

Targeting me instantly.

My senses activate

Calling me outside the lines.

I’m off, no wait, I’m not…



Fear finds my feet.

Don’t know where to run.

The ground growls again,

I determine to resist

The open escape route.



A wonder world of white.

Taunts me to linger in the danger.

My “want to” wants to,

But the storm has me in its sights.

“Get to safety!”



My hurried heart thumps.

Up the hill ~ take the hill.

Faster, driving faster.

A wall of water races toward me.



Crack!Telegraph Road by lynch everystockphoto

Lightning lacerates a limb.

Can’t go back, too afraid to go on.


Joining the flood is the only way through the storm.

Gully washer.



Violent vortex.

Debris spins on invisible strings

And suddenly,

Reaching down from the sky,

The finger of God pointing at me.


Not me, please not me.

Barely breathing.

“Take that hill.”

White-knuckle hero.

Hit the accelerator

Race through the backwash.



Peace in the face of ferocious beauty.

The storm now rages below me.

I climb higher. You draw near.

We sit in quiet stillness

Timing the seconds between heaven’s contractions.



Thunderbolts cut chasms in the canopy above

Forever severing life’s umbilical cord.

Power surge.

Smoke rises from a transformer.

Consuming fire.



Not afraid now…

“C’mon, take me higher.”

Watch me soar,

Suddenly, I am


grandaddy-riheldafferDon Shotts Navigator 5 x 7 sepia amanda-at-work





Thank you to my family who has served this country since the Revolutionary War.

Copyright 2016, Donna A. Tallman



  1. Beautiful!

    Betty Ph.D

  2. Well done Donna, beautiful tribute.

    • Thank you, Kim. Veteran’s Day is a special day in our family.

  3. Thank you Donna. You encouraged me to talk to my Mom about my Dad
    and others who served in our family. 🌹

    • I believe there’s a volume of untapped stories in our parents ~ turn on a video camera and record some of those stories for your family. You’ll be surprised by what they say, remember, and how significant their service is to our freedom today. Thanks for the kind words.

  4. Thank you, Friend, for this moving poem. You are always so faithful to remind us all of why we value those who stand on the wall for us.


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