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Unsung Heroes -- Part I (excerpt) (standard:poetry, 946 words) [1/2] show all parts
Author: Victor D. LopezUpdated: Jun 18 2013Views/Reads: 1537/912Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
In a search for heroes that inspire and help us in our personal quest to become more than we are, we often turn our sights to far-off real and mythical men and women that fit the archetype. Yet true heroes often abound much closer to home if we only take

Unsung Heroes 

Although I stand on the shoulders of giants, 

I fail to see much farther than the bridge of my nose. 

The fault in mine. The shame is mine. 

For I am unworthy of you, my beloved dead. 

Emilio (Maternal Grandfather) 

Your crime was literacy, 

And the possession of a social conscience, 

That made you yearn to see your beloved Spain remain free, 

And prevented you from suffering fascists lightly. 

You did not bear arms, 

For you abhorred all violence, 

You did not incite rebellion, though you 

Rebelled against the foreign and domestic enemies of freedom. 

As best I can tell you were an idealist who, 

In a time of darkness, 

Clung passionately to the belief, 

In the perfectibility of the human spirit. 

You would not abide the lies the regional papers carried, 

And translated news from American and British newspapers, 

About the gathering storm, 

Sharing the truth freely with all who would listen. 

You gave speeches, and wrote speeches delivered by others, in support of
a doomed 

Republic collapsing under the weight of its own incompetence and

You were warned by friends of your imminent arrest and offered passage
back to the 

U.S. or to Buenos Aires where so many of your friends had already found

But they would not get your wife and nine children out, 

And you refused to leave them to their fate. 

They came for you, as always, in the middle of the night, 

These cowards with stern faces hiding behind machine guns. 

They took you prisoner, not for the first time, to the Castillo de San

A fortress by a most beautiful, tranquil bay, 

Where they tore out your nails, one by one, and that their 

Gentlest caress while they asked you for names. 

You endured, God knows what there, for months, 

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