Soldier Boy

Unemployed for fourteen months
bank foreclosing on our home
moving into grandpa’s place
can’t support the wife and son

No money for my boy’s tuition
had to spend the college fund;
deciding to be independent
he joined the Army on his own

Needs to find his way himself
won’t live off his dad no more
ain’t no jobs in our fair city
for a high school graduate

“Don’t worry dad I’ll be just fine
gonna make it on my own
I just want to ease your burden
hope you’re proud that I’m your son”

And so my boy went far away
facing bullets while his dad
keeps looking everyday for work
his momma old before her time.




About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Soldier Boy

  1. Fine post Toritto, I hope you’re not as bad off as it sounds. The life were in is difficult, and society isn’t making much better. Good writing, and and vid, to top it off. Thanks.


  2. sojourner says:

    This, in my indignation and anger over the U.S. war machine and atrocities, is something I need to keep in mind.

    You are absolutely correct, here! I have not considered this, in my shallow thinking. It could be that many young people, today, are entering the military to survive. Why hasn’t this occurred to me before? Never to late to learn!

    This will change my approach to this subject from here forward.

    But it still brings up this, do we have the right to harm others, so that we can be independent and feed ourselves and our families? But I understand the desire. I do!

    So many hard issues, and I certainly don’t have the answers. But from here forward, I am going to remember your poem, when I am writing about military folk!

    Thanks, for another insight, another wake-up call, Torrito! I told you, I always am made more aware by your writing!


    • toritto says:

      Sojourner – This is nothing new. I went into the Army in 1963 for economic reasons. My father was getting on in years (too old to do construction anymore); he had epilepsy and an 8th grade education. My mom was ill (she died at age 43). I had two younger brothers.

      I was 21, had a job in a bank which didn’t pay me enough to live on my own. I was going to college at night. I joined the military for 4 years, I was able to leave home and never went back to live with my parents. Finished college when I got out.

      It’s a common theme among poor kids. West Virginia had the highest per capital casualty rate during the Vietnam War. Regards and thanks for reading.


  3. sojourner says:

    Isn’t this a sad stat: “West Virginia had the highest per capital casualty rate during the Vietnam War”

    Thanks again, for reminding me of this truth!


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.