Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Larry the Screw

Today is smoke-free day 506, and time for Heads or Tails.
Today is HEADS - Guard.

(I'll warn in advance that this one is sad and might not be for everyone.
Also, for those curious, the term "screw" is another name for a prison guard, and the person about whom I write was more often than not referred to by friends as "Larry the Screw.")

He did his job too well
guarding the prison population
and they killed him.

I was 17 that summer
an acquaintance becoming friends
his 7 years more seeming so much older.

Military-style funeral
under the heat of summer's sun
made crying more stifling.

Friends gathered in disbelief
guards from all over the state
strength and hurt in large numbers.

His young widow was given a flag
ceremoniously folded into a triangle
instead of a husband or father to their girls.

I've thought of Larry often over these 19 years
but it only just struck me now just how young
he really was when I was just 17 to his just 24.

By now his children must be almost the age
he was on the birthday before his murder, and
I'd like to think he somehow protects them...

...standing guard if from afar.


  1. that is sad, but so beautifully written.

  2. that is sad, but so beautifully written.

  3. It is good to remember such things at times. Makes us more aware of what we've got.

  4. How wonderful to remember someone in this beautiful way from half your lifetime ago. I know if his widow & children stumbled across this, they would be so touched.

  5. A tragedy for his family - and for him. Those who put themselves in harm's way for us are so little recognized and so poorly compensated.

  6. I hope the SOB that committed the murder was found and ...........you fill in the blank.

  7. Powerful remembrance! This is a very sad story, and I agree with the others here that say you have written it very well!

  8. That is a very poignant poem. We will never forget those who stood guard so we can enjoy our freedom. Happy HOT.

  9. beautiful post, maggie, and beautiful remembrance. such a sad thing for a man and his family to go through.

  10. A tragedy well told. You've made a lovely tribute on this page!

  11. It brought tears to my eyes. Very sad. Thank you for posting it.

  12. I can see why this loss has stuck with you. Such a tragic loss. But your remembrance in this poem is so poignant.


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