Floating on the warm summer air

Where have you been

 Where will you go

Does it even matter

Do you really care

Like the artist palette

Your patterned wings

Dazzle my human eye

So perfect in design

 Float toward an azure sky

Your delicate tongue

Extracts the nectar

How freeing it must be

To travel by sole or throng

To linger short or long

No mortal tongue

Shall quote your beauty

No canvas

Fit for your


Fly away from me

So that I might

Ponder thee

 And wait

                                                   For your ethereal return

Karen Ross Epp


I wrote this poem in 2005 while I was writing my first book, With Love Stan: A Soldier’s Letters From Vietnam To The World. It is a tribute to my brother, Sp4 Stanley D. Ross, who lost his life in South Vietnam, on October 20,1969.



                                                                  PURPLE HEART

It came in a nice box

A Purple Heart

Mother’s hand moved over it

A trade for the real thing

That no longer beats in you young chest

Hand to hand

Bayonet to flesh

Bullet to breast

From where from whom

It had no face

Death that claimed you

Hidden in the trees behind a bush

We only knew

Your heart we sent

Traded for purple



Package returned

Cookies crumbled

Never received

Never opened

So young so sweet

Handsome you lay

No way to touch you

Through sealed

Clear-clean glass

Mother’s tears


Father’s fists


October gray sky

Ground so cold

receives you casket

Till Rapture will hold

You gave them your heart

They gave you a medal

Years gone by

Still the pain is sharp

Your face so clear

You were my brother

Our Mother’s dear

8 thoughts on “KAREN’S POETRY

  1. When I was in 8th grade, I was changing from my gym outfit back into my school clothes in the girls’ locker room of our junior high school. A teacher suddenly approached my group of friends, and one of the prettiest girls in our class, Arlene, was asked by the teacher to gather her things quickly and come with her. We learned later that Arlene’s parents had come to collect her: they had received word that her brother had been killed in Vietnam. Two weeks later, a very pale and greatly diminished Arlene returned to school. The formerly vivacious girl now seemed fragile and her ready smile had disappeared. Her brother had been a marine; he was a hero to his little sister.

    I don’t know what happened to Arlene. After that year, I lost track of her, but I never forgot her pretty face or the sadness that later marred it.

    Your brother was a hero, fighting a hard and unpopular war during difficult, chaotic times – and your poem is a lovely tribute to him. Thank you for sharing it.


      • Hi Karen, a Gravator is a ‘globally recognized avatar (photo) that you can set up so that instead of the icon assigned by WordPress, the picture you designate will show up. In my case it is the rose on the open book. I can send you the link explaining this, if you like.


    • Thanks for that beautiful comment. I was a difficult time and it changed my parents forever and in may way myself.
      I just sent you a note about the Gravatar thing. I’m really new at all this.


      • You are welcome. Your poem brought back memories. Re the Gravatar, I will send you a direct message on Twitter.

        By the way, I’ve nominated your blog for an award – check my page out. I hope it brings you some new readers!


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