I was born in Calabar, Nigeria and lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado with my wife and four children. I'm a computer engineer by trade, but poetry is my passion. My chapbook, Ndewo, Colorado is a Colorado Book Award Winner. In my spare time I snowboard, coach and play soccer, and train in American Kenpo. I am also an editor at Kin Poetry Journal.
When We Called Their Name
No voices over ordered rows of stone,
Visitors silent over silent hosts,
While, nationwide at work or recreation,
A quiet few stand medium to comrade ghosts.
We serve their honest pride with our acclaim
Who went in service when we called their name.
They don't emerge from our deciding classes
They didn't make the causes of their fight;
In history no power is ever perfect
But none has faced such auditing of might.
Never again should we turn unjust blame
On who went to serve when we called their name.
Most go embracing opportunity,
Which is the substance of our nation,
Some come from overseas pledging their lives
In citizenship, bravest immigration.
Grave worry scars all families the same;
Whose loved have gone when we called their name.
These are America's resource of conscience
Which in returning stocks our wherewithal—
Some with wounds we see, some which we can't,
And some in not returning home at all.
There's warm reward in tending to the flame
Of who went to serve when we called their name.
-first appeared in The Nervous Breakdown
©2015 Uche Ogbuji